The history of the oyster beds

PARC-A-HUITRES

The construction of these beds was undertaken in 1777 by group of shareholders, one of whom was the Marquis de Belvert who was the owner and the main shareholder. These beds were dug out at the request of Queen Marie-Antoinette, who was very fond of oysters. The oysters did not originate from Étretat, but they were brought from the Bay of Cancale, which supplied many millions of them each year. Two sloops, "La Syrène" and la "Cauchoise" brought them to Etretat. After the oysters had remained in the tanks for several months and had acquired a more delicate flavour due to being alternately in fresh water from the underground river and then in salt water from the sea they were taken to Paris on the backs of donkeys or horses.

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