Other celebratory dishes may vary from family to family, but on every table here during les fêtes de fin d’année (the festivities at the end of the year) you can be sure to see oysters, either raw and served with slices of lemon or cooked in some way, usually quickly under the grill to melt a topping of cheese. The coquillage van from Bouzigues made a special visit to the village on Christmas Eve, its busiest day of the year except for New Year’s Eve. We and most other customers had ordered in advance to be sure and we bought some clams, mussels and of course oysters.
We ate some oysters raw, and cooked these ones, adding a spoonful of crème fraîche and some grated cheese to each and putting them under the grill until the cheese had melted. Very simple and quick to prepare and a delicious supper for the night before Christmas.
The next day we went to Mèze, wondered around the zone conchylicole (the shell fish producers’ area of the shore) and saw some of the processes of their production.
One of the boats used for farming the oysters, with the oyster and mussel beds in the lagoon and then Sète in the distance across the water.
Here the young oysters had been glued on to the ropes where they will grow. Once the glue has dried they will be taken out into the lagoon and lowered into the water to mature.