Oyster producer: Our Know-How
From March to May, the story of the fine Hélie oysters starts with the arrival of the 6 month old spats, in the Saint-Vaast La Hougue oyster farms. The spats, measuring 2 mm to 8 mm, come from Charente Maritime (Fort Boyard), the Arcachon basin and also from French hatcheries.
By next spring, the baby oysters have grown and need more space: it is time for the first “parting out” operation.
Parting out is carried out again in the next year, to give the oysters more space and allow them to continue their growth harmoniously.
After this first production cycle, our oysters are now three and a half years old. We now start preparing our oysters so they are ready for sale.
The oysters are calibrated: they are weighed to classify them by grade (from grade 5, the smallest, to grade 0, the biggest). They are now taken to the depot farms, closest to the shore, so that the oysters get accustomed to being as much as possible out of the water.
This step called “cheating” conditions the oyster to living out of the water. The shell hardens and the muscle becomes stronger, so the oyster will stay shut longer during transport and retain its freshness better.
After one month of cheating, our shipment team takes great pains to delicately pack the oysters one by one in the crates: the oysters are ready to leave for the tables of gourmets.