“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.)
A VIDEO REPORT BY BILL DIEM
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.
Bill Diem, a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and Antioch College, contributes a weekly column to the Newberry News in Michigan, and he is learning to be a video journalist. For three decades, he was a print journalist best known for his coverage of technology and industrial strategy in the global automobile industry.