Monday, December 8, 2014

H is for Huitres

french village diaries advent calendar a to z french food christmas oysters
French food alphabet advent calendar


Welcome to my French Food Alphabet Advent Calendar. Between now and Christmas Day I will be working my way through a selection of delicious food posts; some will be regional specialities, some are my personal favourite foods, some posts will include recipes, but all will be linked to French food and drink. I hope you enjoy your virtual tastings.

It’s the 8th December and H is for Huitres.

Huitres or oysters are a popular dish in France, especially over the Christmas and New Year period when they are sold in vast numbers, as it seems a festive family meal isn’t complete without an oyster platter. They may not be to everyone's taste, but they are famed for their aphrodisiacal effects and they are also an excellent source of zinc, iron, calcium, selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12 and are very low in calories. Our French neighbours, a happy and healthy couple who have been married for over fifty years are regular oyster eaters. Every Sunday they are out of the house much earlier than we are to drive to the local market to buy their fresh oysters, always from the same vendor. These, along with mussels when in season, are served raw with homemade parsley and shallot vinaigrette and some bread. This Sunday lunch ritual is more sacred to them than a full roast dinner has ever been to us and is probably a lot healthier too.

I just have one warning. Despite our neighbour showing Adrian what to do with the sharp oyster-opening knife, he did come very close to losing a finger when preparing the platter in the picture above so do take care.

If you have missed my previous advent posts you can catch up by clicking on the letters A, B, C, D, E, F and G. Don’t forget to pop back tomorrow for the letter I, this was a tricky one!