Marennes-Oléron oysters PGI
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One thing is for sure, whether you like your oysters cooked or raw, it's worth shaking things up! Here's everything you need to know in 5 tips.
Tip no.1: choose the right cru
French oysters vary according to terroir: there are the refined and briny flavors of those from the Cotentin peninsula, the distinct delicacy of Marennes-Oléron oysters, and the subtle nuttiness of Brittany's Belons... Try them to see which is to your taste. Remember that the flavors of oysters are more nuanced when they are eaten raw.
Tip no.2: bring out the best in your oysters
When you open them, don't forget to empty out the first juice: they will produce a second, more fragrant, less salty liquor - some people even throw that away and wait for the third edition. And whatever you do, don't serve them on ice! The cold will stifle their flavor.
Tip no.3: spice them up!
When you want to enhance your oysters, there's nothing wrong with going the traditional route of red wine vinegar and finely chopped shallots. Alternatively, you could opt for an Asian combo: a mixture of lime, grated ginger and perhaps even a few drops of ponzu, a Japanese soy sauce with yuzu.
Tip no. 4: know your accompaniments
With plain oysters, there's nothing better than a slice of toasted bread, topped with citrus-flavored butter that you have made yourself. Knead in the zest of the fruit (mandarin, bergamot, etc) after grating and blanching (briefly immerse in boiling water to take away the bitterness).
Tip no. 5: turn up the heat
A few minutes under the grill or on the barbecue can make a huge difference to the taste and texture of an oyster. When oysters are cooked, the flavor is robust enough to take some bold pairings. For example: crème fraîche + a few drops of peated whisky + chives; a little Camembert + cubes of Granny Smith apple; or simply a small pat of good quality butter.