Cancale Oyster bedsI am going through some photos we took last summer and found this one, which was taken in October 2011. It shows Cancale oyster beds. Cancale is situated in Brittany, very close to Saint-Malo (in the department of Ille-et-Vilaine) and is considered to be the capital of oysters. In fact, if you mention Cancale to any French person, their immediate thought will be: OYSTERS!

Cancale is more precisely located between Saint-Malo and Mont Saint Michel, literally at the edge between Normandy and Brittany. It offers breathtaking views over the Mont-Saint-Michel Bay as well as scenic walks around the coast. It is also said that the tides in the Bay of Cancale are the strongest in the world due to its particular location.

At the end of the port in Cancale, you can find a few stalls selling mussels (moules) and oysters (huîtres). You can eat the oysters directly on the beach – the sellers will open the oysters for you – or if you prefer, you can take them home. You can’t get fresher than this! The oysters beds are only a few metres away from the stalls!

Most tourists tend to eat them there resulting in the beach being absolutely covered with shells!

As we have already established, Cancale is famous for its oysters (which have been farmed there for hundreds of years), but also for fish and sea food. One just has to stroll along the port to be met with a wide selection of fish and seafood restaurants.

Cancale oysters can be eaten raw or cooked and their iodised flavour remains unrivalled. Breeding takes four years, at the end of which the farmers can start the harvest. By that time, the oysters’ flesh is deliciously firm, an absolute delight for seafood lovers.

For those of you interested in the history and production of oyster farming, you can visit La Ferme Marine, a family-owned business where visitors can see the farmers at work. You can also enjoy an exhibition of shellfish from around the world. The farm’s souvenir shop sells some very nice shell-inspired jewellery.

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