Questions and Answers



  • Can we eat Gillardeau oysters in summer?
  • Contrary to popular belief, the Gillardeau can be enjoyed all year round because its flesh is never milky.
  • How long can Gillardeau oysters be kept?
  • Their frequent imnmersion in water allows the Gillardeau oysters to harden. For this reason they open more slowly, retain their water and keep better when removed from their natural environment. They can therefore be eaten more than eight days after packaging or fifteen days if stored in a basket at a temperature of between 5°C and 15°C.
  • What is the best way to keep Gillardeau oysters?
  • Never leave them exposed to the sun and keep them in a cool place at a temperature of between 5°C and 15°C.

    Lay them flat, rounded side down, close together and covered with a damp cloth.

    If you buy them in a basket, only open it immediately prior to use. And if all the oysters are not eaten on the same day, close the lid tightly by placing a heavy weight or stones on top of it.

    Open the oysters half an hour before serving.
    If you open them earlier, re-cover them with the shell.

    Place them on a bed of seaweed or a layer of coarse salt. Ice anaesthetises the taste buds.
  • How to choose or how to recognize fresh oysters?
  • The fact that an oyster is difficult to open shows that its adductor muscle is resisting and therefore it is still alive. This is a good indicator of freshness. When you buy oysters, make sure that they are tightly closed and that their shells are bright.
  • What is the significance of the numbers 2, 3,4... that are given to oysters?
  • The numbers indicate their size and are inversely proportional to their weight: the lower the number, the bigger the size of the oyster. Thus, 5 is the smallest of hollow oysters (30 to 35 grams) while the 0 weighs about 100 grams.
  • What is the best way to open an oyster?
  • • It is preferable to use a short-bladed, pointed "oyster" knife that is specifically for that purpose.
    • Place a cloth folded in four in the palm of your hand (left if you are right handed, right if you are left-handed) or use an "oyster glove”.
    • Hold the curved part of the oyster in the palm of your hand, with the heel (the pointed part) towards you.
    • Hold the handle of the knife in the palm of the free hand. The blade should be between the thumb and the curved index finger.
    • The blade should protrude about an inch beyond the index finger.
    Insert the blade between the two parts of the shell, about two-thirds of its length from the heel. If your blade is correctly placed,it should penetrate without your having to use excessive force.
    • Pass the knife gently along the upper part of the shell to remove all the flesh.
    • While holding the upper shell between the thumb and the blade of the knife, gently pull towards you, using a levering action to remove it.
    • Discard the water in the shell; more water will build up in a few minutes.
  • Why are some oysters difficult to open?
  • The more difficult the oysters are to open, the fresher they are: the muscle-lock is tight.
  • Why are Gillardeau oyster baskets convex?
  • The Girardeau baskets are always convex, for the following reasons: the more closely packed the oysters are, the less likely they are to open and this ensures the quality of their freshness. As far as the Maison Girardeau is concerned, quality is in itself is a real philosophy.
  • Is it true that oysters are aphrodisiacs?
  • The high zinc content which helps produce testosterone needed for libido, has contributed to the oyster's reputation for being an aphrodisiac: the truth of this virtue remains unverified although, according to legend, Casanova consumed forty per day!