Charente-Maritime oysters, bouchot mussels, shellfish and crustaceans: savour seafood during your getaway to La Rochelle! Give in to the temptation of fabulous seafood to get your fill of salt air and vitamins.
Tasting oysters in La Rochelle
An essential culinary speciality of Charente-Maritime, oysters remain an exceptional dish to savour in winter. On the market stalls, in the restaurant or in an oyster bar overlooking the sea, give in to the temptation of an oyster tasting in La Rochelle!
The Charente Maritime oyster, a product of true character
A true gourmet brand, the Charente Maritime Oyster or "HCM Oyster" is a unique product born out of ancestral know-how. It’s cultivated at sea over more than 2,500 hectares of oyster beds that stretch away from La Rochelle between the islands of Ré, Aix and Oléron. Did you know that two to three years of growing are required before you can taste an oyster from the open sea?
How to taste an oyster, or cook it? Check out all our tips to become an oyster expert in La Rochelle!
The oyster-farming landscapes around La Rochelle
Why not take the opportunity to discover the oyster-farming sites near La Rochelle? Take time to contemplate the charm and authenticity of the small traditional ports of the La Rochelle urban area :
- At low tide, a stroll through the small port of Plomb in l’Houmeau promises an unobstructed view of the oyster beds of Île de Ré, where you can watch the comings and goings of the oyster barges.
- Surrounded by nets, the port of La Pelle in Marsilly remains an authentic place to buy oysters direct from the producer or taste them facing the sea.
- The path going from the port of Loiron in Angoulins to Aytré Beach has a picturesque atmosphere with its small huts that bear witness to the old oyster farming activity.
Where can you find an oyster farmer in La Rochelle with an oyster tasting hut?
Give in to the temptation of an oyster tasting direct from the producer. From Aiguillon Bay to Yves Bay, you can find various oyster establishments with tasting huts.
Feast on bouchot mussels
Mussel season is in the summer! A family dish par excellence, mussels will delight the taste buds of young and old alike. Moules marinière, in mouclade, with or without chips or cooked in their shell – they can be enjoyed in a thousand and one different ways! But one thing is certain: here, people eat locally by choosing mussels from La Rochelle.
Bouchot mussel – what’s that?
The bouchot mussel takes its name from the wooden stakes planted on the foreshore used to grow them. This traditional breeding method consists of collecting the spat on hemp ropes which are then wrapped around the famous bouchots (mussel posts). The mussels grow there within a year, from winter to the following spring. That means they’re ready to be enjoyed at the start of summer.
La Charron, an exceptional mussel
It’s north of La Rochelle in the Aiguillon Bay, at the confluence of the salty waters of the Atlantic and the fresh waters of the Poitevin marsh, that an exceptional mussel called "La Charron" is cultivated. Only the towns of Marsilly, Esnandes, Charron (La Rochelle Agglomeration) and Aiguillon-sur-Mer in Vendée are entitled to use the appellation.
A nature walk through the heart of mussel farming tradition between Esnandes and Marsilly
You can also follow a Terra Aventura route in La Rochelle: "À la cache aux moules". Located in the village of Boucholeurs in Châtelaillon-Plage, this hour-long walk promises a joyful 3 km outing.
Savour a seafood platter
While the oyster remains one of the flagship shellfish on a seafood platter, its composition depends on both the season and the arrival of shellfish at the auction.
The shellfish of the La Rochelle coastline
Winter is the season for cockles, periwinkles, scallops and clams. These delicious shellfish will also appeal to shore fishing enthusiasts. The unmissable whelk on the seafood platter is eaten almost all year round.