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Gillardeau Spéciale Oysters
Gillardeau Spéciale Oysters
Gillardeau Spéciale oysters are brought to us with a ladle of sea water from France. 

A Passion for Food!

French oysters are best eaten in the period from September to March. As this gives us only six months to savour the creamiest oysters, we have no excuse but to seek out the best. The French hold oysters in similar regard to wine, where the oysters’ place of origin determines their quality. However, there is one exception: Gillardeau Spéciale oysters— the internationally renowned French oyster brand. Gillardeau is not a place, but rather the surname of a French family, which is famous for cultivating oysters. Although it is relatively uncommon to name an oyster after the cultivator, Gillardeau oysters are so plump and soft, with even a hazel aftertaste, that they are ranked among France’s top three premium oysters. Just taste a freshly opened Gillardeau’s Spéciale oyster to understand why this family brand has maintained its prestigious status for centuries.  
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The scent of sea water drifts out from the open shell. Smooth and chewy, leaving a refreshing taste of hazel on the palate. Discover the joy of eating oyster.

The Famous Origin

With its long coastline, France produces seafood in abundance, but is most proud of its oysters. Although artificial oyster cultivation has a short history of only two hundred years, French oysters alone occupy 90% of oyster production in Europe, are well received by gourmets around the world for their high quality, and rank among the top three premium brands with the famous Belon and Fines de claires. 

Gillardeau Family

The quality of oysters is often determined by their origin. However, Gillardeau oysters are known for their cultivators. The Gillardeau family has been cultivating Huître Creuse oysters for generations, as the famous oyster masters. Founded by Henri Gillardeau in 1898, this reputable oyster brand is now managed by the third and fourth successors of the family — father and son — Gerald and Thierry. 

Carefully Nurtured

Gillardeau Spéciale oysters are fresh, plump and juicy, thanks to the family?s more than century-long experience of oyster cultivation. Every oyster has been cultivated on average for at least four years. During the process, quality, depth and salinity of the water are strictly monitored and adjusted to ensure the oysters’ highest quality. The oysters are then sent to Claire pond to grow fatter. After careful nurturing processes, they are sent to the markets for sale.

Grading

The grading of oysters varies according to regions and species. Gillardeau’s Huître Creuse oysters are graded by weight on a scale of 1 to 6. Level 1 is the heaviest, but level 2 offers the best texture. In addition, the Worth Index of Oyster Meat is another popular standard for grading oysters, which involves comparing the weight of the oyster’s meat to its overall volume. The higher the index, the plumper the oyster. At level 9, the oysters will have reached the “Spéciale” standard. 

How to Choose

Fresh and clean oysters offer you their best natural taste. Before eating oysters, you should not only ask about their place of origin, but also know how to identify whether or not they are fresh. First, examine their appearance. They should be clean and remain intact, with only some tiny algae on the shell. Place the oyster in your hand—if it feels heavy, it is plump and juicy. It should smell like sea water. Lastly, check that the shell is “sealed” to ensure that the oyster is alive.  

How to Taste

Oysters naturally taste fresh and sweet. Nothing is more exciting than opening the shell with the oyster knife and serving it immediately. Before opening, wash the shell with water to clear away any impurities, in order to prevent them from contaminating the oyster meat. After opening, use a knife to touch the oyster rim. A live oyster will contract and twist. The light salty flavour of sea water inside is in fact the essence, allowing you to enjoy the oyster without seasoning.