Ma Normandie, My Normandy
Oysters are bivalve mollusks which live in salt or brackish water. The word "oyster" comes from Old French “oistre,” derived from Latin “ostrea.” Oysters are consumed, cooked or raw, by humans as a delicacy.
Just across the bay from Mont St. Michel was the surprise of the trip, Cancale, a picturesque fishing village known as the “oyster capital” of France. This small town is full of seafood restaurants where fashionable diners watch oystermen bring their catch from sea to table while dining on French wine and the delicate crustaceans.
Famous French painter Eugène Feyen (1815- 1908) painted the oysterpickers while downing his share. John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), the American Impressionist, famous for his portraits of Madame X, Robert Louis Stevenson, John D. Rockefeller, and Theodore Roosevelt recorded his visit to Cancale in his 1878 Fishing for Oysters at Cancale. These works, though painted a century ago, show oyster farming and eating in Cancale that we witnessed in 2012.