Belon Oysters from Maine
Known more accurately as “The European Flat Oyster” (only true “Belons” come from the Belon River estuary in Brittany, France) these large oysters were transplanted to Maine decades ago. Now found both wild and in limited aquaculture, the “Belon” is hand-harvested in sub tidal coves and inlets where our Maine Rivers meet the sea. Unlike their cousins, Crassostrea virginica (Eastern Oyster), these oysters are round in shape, with very flat shells and little pronounced cup, and much larger than the common Eastern oyster. Their resemblance to a small saucer has earned them the nickname “Plates”. The creamy to light brown meat of these oysters is plump and substantial, with a big, pronounced flavor and metallic, “coppery” finish – distinct but far less briny than their Eastern Oyster cousins, with a “sweet to flinty” overtone. They are coveted when serviced on the half shell, but their full flavor also serves well when cooked for stews or soups (cooked, their meat will turn an ivory color). While some consider the European Oyster the finest eating in the world, others find it an acquired and unique taste because it is so dissimilar in flavor to the smaller Eastern and Pacific oyster species.
Wild Maine Belon Oysters are an allowable catch in Maine from mid September until mid June – but are premium in October through March with colder water temperatures. Select “farms” in Maine are authorized to harvest year-round, but are a true cottage industry with modest output. With so few harvested a year (estimated at no more than 5,000), the Maine “Belon” is among the rarest oyster available anywhere. Availability is Seasonal and Limited. Two Dozen. Ships Live. Farmed or Wild. Maine,US.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION/CARE: Product is live. Discard oysters that have broken or still remain open after pressing on their shell. Store in refrigeration upon receipt, covered in damp towels or paper, preferably so they lie flat. DO NOT store in fresh water or ice. Do not store in air tight plastic containers or bags. Best when prepared day of arrival, oysters will live up to 5 days in refrigeration.