Where Do the Gillardeau Oysters Come From?
In 1898, the farm began. Since then, for the fourth generation, Gillardeau oysters can be eaten near La Rochelle, in western France. These oysters are called “Rolls-Royce” or “Hermes” and they surely live up to their name.
Due to their popularity, they are counterfeited quite a lot in the world. In order to fight the counterfeiters, every oyster has a laser logo (G for Gillardeau) on them.
Of course, the logo may not look perfect on every oyster due to differences in shape, it’s an utterly easy way to spot a forgery. The farm grows only “speciale” type oysters. More than half of its oysters are farmed in Ireland, Cork, and Normandy, near Utah Beach.
The waters there are cleaner, tractors are easier to use, there are fewer parasites that endanger oysters, and it is also easier to find workers to grow oysters in these areas.
How These Rolls-Royce Oysters Are Grown?
Gillardeau oysters are constantly monitored during farming. To get a thicker oyster, 130-150 oysters are placed in net bags, which usually can hold up to 1000 pieces.
Everything from the salinity of the water to the oyster feeding well to it acquiring as much flavour as possible are all monitored effects. The tractors turn these net bags every few weeks so that the oysters grow evenly.
The final finish is in the oyster ponds, where the salinity is monitored and the water is changed so that the final taste is in accordance with Gillardau.
Why Is There a Logo on Gillardeau Oysters?
The story of the logo also seemed fascinating. The first counterfeit Gillardeau oysters appeared in China and then in many other countries. To prevent this, the Gillardeau invested around €5 million in the laser logo engraving process in 2014.
Initially, there was an option on the table to put a microchip on the oyster, which proves its authenticity, but this development did not go through, thus the oyster box now has the letter G.4 oysters are engraved per second and this has no effect on the taste of the oyster.
The Gillardeau produces about 2,000 tonnes of oysters a year, while in comparison France’s total production is about 130,000 tonnes. The price scale is usually 2 to 3 times more expensive than any other oyster. But for that, you can be sure that you will get a real treat.
Where Can You Find Gillardeau Oysters?
In Eastern Europe, you will not find them in supermarkets and I suggest you better ask from your local gourmet seafood supplier. It may happen that fine dining restaurants sometimes offer the Gillardeau oyster. It’s a rare find around here!
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