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Friday, July 16, 2010

Oysters - end of the season

I went to the Cabane à Huîtres again yesterday. I've been there every week since I returned from my most recent trip. When I arrived that day, after being gone for a few weeks, I was immediately greeted with a rousing "Welcome back! Where have you been? We thought maybe you'd returned to the U.S.!" Francis wasn't there that day, his son Frédéric had replaced him for the week. Frédéric, Ségolène and I had a great conversation. It was hot that day and the place was pretty empty at lunchtime.

It was hot last week too; there's no air conditioning here. But the oysters were delicious as usual. Every single oyster that I've ever tasted there has passed the "shrink test". If you know oysters, you know what that means. So even though it's getting late in the year (the old maxim is: you only eat oysters in months with "r") the Cabane was open.

This week it was cooler - no need for air conditioning - and the regulars were back. I feel like I know most of them - and have even become one myself.

This week I was treated to more stories and more history. Here is a photo (actually a photo that Francis uses as a business card). The person in the boat is Francis' father - in a "pinasse" (a flat-bottomed pine fishing boat) that he built himself between 1956-58. I learned all about the history of the boat, the Dubourg family and their oyster park. Five generations so far!

Mr. Pons was there too. He's the 96 year old who comes almost every day (except last week when it was exceptionally hot). He is still quite alert and except for being slightly deaf, he has lots to say. His recipe for longevity? Eat lots of oysters, and drink plenty of wine. M. Pons never drinks water!

However, it IS the end of the season, and the Cabane will be closing on Saturday the 17th of July, not reopening until the end of August and the beginning of the new season.

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