Anthrow Circus

For the Love of Oysters

“Still Life with Oysters,” a 17th-century painting by Osias Beert the Elder that shows how oysters are traditionally a prized luxury item. (Image is in the public domain. The painting is part of the National Museum in Warsaw’s collection.)


That the French love oysters is clear. Average consumption is 26 oysters per person per year, the highest in Europe. Why they love them is a result of geography and culture. Of the six sides of the French hexagon, three are salt-water coasts where oysters are raised. And they are an affordable luxury, linked for centuries to end-of-the-year celebrations and having a good time. Oyster fans like the taste and think that they contribute to good health.

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