Marennes Oléron Oysters
From the world famous Marennes Oléron Oyster range, two types have obtained Label Rouge :
The Label Rouge Fine de Claire is green, delicate and tender with an earthy taste which blends with the delicate, salty flavour. Its typical colour comes from the presence of a micro-algae from which the oyster takes the pigment marennine. With high water content, it is particularly popular with lovers of slightly meaty oysters.
The Label Rouge "Pousse en Claire", grown at very low density levels has gleaming, ivory flesh, firmer meatier, almost crunchy. This oyster with its dense meat has clearly identifiable specific properties and has long been the preserve of connoisseurs.
Freshness for the consumer - after inspection and grading, the Label Rouge Marennes Oléron oysters are packed flat in baskets and can be eaten up to at least a week later if kept at a temperature between 5 and 15°C.
Marennes Oléron oyster quality: high level expertise
The Marennes Oléron basin is a highly protected and regulated ecosystem which holds Protected Geographical Indication.
The Label Rouge Fines de Claire Vertes mature at a density of 3kg per m2 for a minimum of 28 days in the shallow ponds or "claires" in which blue navicules grow naturally. Water flow is controlled so that the oysters do not suffer from any stress which could compromise consistent salinity levels.
The Label Rouge "Pousses en Claire" also grow in ideal conditions. They are farmed in the "claires" for a minimum of 4 months, more often eight. The finest oysters grow in these waters which cannot hold more than 5 oysters per m².
This low density allows the oyster to form high flesh levels firm, crisp with a strong earthy taste that lasts.
I wanted to bring things up to date and to remain true to tradition, preserving valuable experience. The idea of joining a producer group committed to Label Rouge this emerged.
From the beginning we worked together to prepare the Label Rouge specification. Firstly, we had to formalise rigorous standards of practice and ensure that they would ensure top quality. The ongoing Label Rouge assessments are a continuous incentive towards perfection.
Our whole oyster production has reaped the benefits. As has all production in the bay. Label Rouge has helped us to be identified as an oyster of unequalled superior quality with full traceability. It provides assurances for the consumer.
Laurent Chiron, Marennes Oléron Label Rouge oyster farmer
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