How to buy fresh oysters directly from the producer in Bouzigues

I’m all about fresh local ingredients so when we were in the south of France, I absolutely had to visit Bouzigues to buy the town’s famous oysters and have a picnic on the beach.

We didn’t have a plan of action of how we were going to do this. We just thought we would drive into Bouzigues and cycle around until we found some oysters! Luckily it worked.

Where to find the oysters

Etang de Thau (or Bassin de Thau) are lagoons that stretch along the southern French coast.

These waters are home to the region’s oysters farms and Bouzigues is renowned for its quality producers.

We hopped on our bikes and pedalled towards the sea until finally, on the coastal road D158, we found a number of sellers.

We went to Earl Le Mas d’Argent https://www.facebook.com/earl.lemasdargent/

They were still open at 7pm.

The choices

I discovered that there was no difference in the quality of the oysters, just the sizes. Small, medium and large, ranging from 4.60 Euros to 6.60 Euros per dozen.

Bouzigues oysters

What to buy

It’s a good idea to buy a shucking knife, some ice and wine. I found buying wine from the oyster seller guaruntees that the wine will go well with your oysters, which is handy if you are not sure how to pair food and wine.

When to buy

The best time to buy fresh oysters is when the waters are cooler from September to April.

Get to know your oysters

You can arrange an oyster producer visit and tasting with Earl Huitres Bouzigues http://www.huitres-bouzigues.com/visite.html

 

Bouzigues oysters come from a salty lagoon next to the sea. They are fat, juicy and incredibly tasty.

Check out the video to find out more!

Perfect picnics in Paris

Picnics in Paris was my latest adventure.

See below for my Youtube video and anecdote about the delightful eats we had 🙂

I have to begin this story not in Paris but in Gran Canaria. I was in a cheap cafe with my beau Mario, who was enchanted by the good looking cakes, more because he was hungry than anything else and not because of the quality. I was adament that the mille feuille he was eyeing up was no good. The cream was brilliant white and the pastry was dry as a bone. But instead of taking my advice not to buy it, he listened to the rumble in his belly. Poor fool. It was so bad he decided that he didn’t like mille feuilles.

Fast forward three months and we were in a patisserie in Paris surrounded by artfully structures cakes. Colour combinations of pink and chocolate brown, gold sprinkled bombs and towers of cream stood before us in all their glory and there in the counter were perfect mille feuille with custard cream sandwiched between delicate melt-in-the-mouth pastry. Now this was the place to eat! But Mario screwed up his nose with the memory of Gran Canaria and tentively bought a cookie. A goddamed cookie! sigh.

“You have to try my mille feuille, ” I said.

“Nah,” he replied.

“But this is the real thing,” I explained.

I bit into it. Cream oozed out of the sides.

He stared.

I groaned with pleasure: “Mmm!”

He agreed to taste it.

I think his words were: “OMG that is awesome taste!” (He’s German but I didn’t correct his English for not wanting to ruin his sugar high, or mine).

And so the love affair with food in Paris began.

I prised my mille feuille from Mario’s fingers and sat on a bench staring at the Arc de Triomphe, eating it slowly.

He fished around in his bag and took out his silly little cookie. I couldn’t help but laugh.

The city of lights is magnificent. In my opinion the quality of food, art and clothing cannot be surpassed.

All of this comes at a price so we were careful to choose only the best foods, cafes and retsaurants within our budget. Quality bio produce, such as wine, cheese and meat, from marche de Raspail (5th Arrondissiment) and the rotisserie chicken, pates and fruit juices at Marche Bastille (11th Arrondissiment) were awesome.

We stopped at many patisseires along the way: Maison Landemaine in Oberkampt and Valentina Boulangerie on Rue de Voltaire became our regulars – I mean we went to these places daily.

Another highlight was chocolatier Chapon, on Rue Du Bac. It was a very posh experience indeed! Mario did mousse tastings as the chocolate expert gave him intricate details – in the same way a sommelier would with wine. It’s a memory that has imprinted on Mario’s mind.

On the last night, he woke me up saying: “The chocolate mousse in very fluffy.”

I wondered why he felt the need to tell me this at 3am and turned around in bed to find him fast asleep.

My German boyfriend was sleep talking in English about French food. Only in Paris! C’est la vie!