In the heart of the oyster farm of Cancale, classified in the Immaterial Cultural Heritage of France.
Passionate about natural areas, outdoor activities, fauna and flora!
A meeting, a job!
The oysters of Cancale told by a pro !
Olivier Bernier opened the doors of his oyster farm, located in Nielles in the town of Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes, and shared with us his passion for this very special shellfish. Or rather, I should say for THOSE particular shellfish! Because here we are not talking about one oyster but two: the flat and the hollow.A little flashback, to the time of kings: Cancale benefits from a natural deposit of flat oysters, so tasty that they were tasted at the table of François 1st, a privilege that earned Cancale the title of town as early as 1545. Only over the centuries, over-picked, they become rare in the Bay.Then they are joined by the creuse, native of Portugal, then replaced by Japanese, more resistant.2 types of oysters, and 2 different breeding methods: one occupies the bed of the Bay, when the other, hollow, grows in the famous pockets spread on the tables of the oyster parks.If each has its own flavor, they both benefit from a unique environment, stirred by the largest tides in Europe, watched by the benevolent silhouette of the Mont, in the distance.
Back to the farm
Here, we bring back the oysters once they are out of the sea, before sorting them and teaching them to close well out of the water, a kind of reverse apnea learning! Rearing an oyster requires a unique know-how and time … It takes about 3 years for an oyster to be perfect to be tasted! The oyster farmer’s job is a passion, a passion for these little oysters that give us so much joy on our palate! And one thing is sure, it is that Olivier shares the passion of his job like no other.A job with an open space office, with schedules following the season and the tides. An appropriate outfit because in the oyster parks, you need waders, boots that go up to the waist. A job where we do not stay hands in the pockets, we put down the bags, we move them, we turn them, we take them out of the water.The job of oyster farmer is also to ensure that oysters do not clump together by ensuring that the bags are regularly stirred.And all this for our greatest pleasure!
To taste them, the appointment is given directly to the oyster farm (les Nielles, Bât. 7, in Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes) or to the Viviers de la Houle (37 quai John Kennedy, Port de la Houle in Cancale).