With their inherent freshness, oysters are perfect as an appetiser. We prefer small (No. 5) oysters – also called aperitif oysters, cocktail oysters, or butterfly oysters as an appetiser because of how fun they are to pop into your mouth. Just as Maupassant describes in Bel Ami, these oysters are like little salted sweets. Small and plump, No. 5 oysters beg to be pinched up between the tips of your fingers while you have a pre-dinner drink.
The grade of an oyster depends on its weight. For flat oysters, the French grading system runs from 0 for the largest specimens to 5 for the smallest ones. The flesh of the small, plump No. 5 oysters weighs an average of 30-45 grams. We advise serving about 9 oysters per person.
The aperitif oysters served at the Les Huîtres de St-Clément Oyster Bar are 100% raised in claire salt ponds (built into former salt marshes) on the Île de Ré. Their taste lingers on the palate, with a delicate minerality and saltiness. These natural oysters become milky during the Summer months.
You can recognise them by their pretty little ridged shells and flat bottoms. Their crinkly shells tell the story of how well they were cared for at La Ferme des Baleines. So, for your next cocktail hour with friends, bring a tray of these salted sweets to share.