Cancale, France. If you find yourself there, here's a French lesson for you: huîtres — oysters. You're going to have a rough go of it in this small town on the Brittany coast if you don't eat this bivalve. Besides the occasional crêperie, almost all the restaurants that face the sea in Cancale's La Houle district feature them as the star menu attraction.
And why not? Cancale is often called the "oyster capital of Brittany," with guidebooks pointing out that the Romans were known to have eaten oysters from the bay and that Louis XIV was said to have had them delivered from Cancale daily to the palace at Versailles. According to Wikipedia, Cancale's harbor has about 4.5 square miles devoted to oyster beds and produces up to 25,000 tons of the shellfish each year.
The real sea-to-stomach action here, though, is off the La Houle restaurant row and at a small group of oyster stands literally yards from where the mollusks are harvested. The only way you're going to get oysters fresher than these is to pull them out of the water and shuck them yourself.
In honor of National Oyster Day today, I give you a slideshow to peep above. The photos here are from my recent honeymoon in France, where the wife and I spent two days of a seven-day hiking tour in Cancale.
But I'm also feeling a bit crazy today, too, so I'm going to crack open a bonus poll here for you to slurp down:
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