In Hossegor oyster farming is a family affair. The same names crop up generation after generation. Today only a handful are left to defend a tradition that played a part in making the town famous. The oyster farms once moved around the lake in relation to the sand banks and the currents, but are now mostly concentrated on the south eastern shore where reservoirs have been built by the Coopérative maritime d’Hossegor. These installations?respect european sanitary regulations and the oysters spend some time here in sterile surroundings in purification and dispatching tanks filled with filtered seawater. The story began when Napoleon III had the canal drilled to create a tidal basin and thus connect the lake to the sea. In 1876 about forty oyster farmers took possession of the lake – pioneers who came from Arcachon and Capbreton. Samples were offered for tasting and little by little snack bars were set up and then restaurants, soon crowded with visitors.
The quality of the oysters, pleasantly iodized and with a slight taste of hazelnut, coupled with the culinary reputation?of these inns, have largely contributed to the success of the lake.?Today though there are only fa handful farmers left, they fiercely defend this tradition and run their modest concessions profitably by selling the fruit of their labour at a fair price, either at the farms themselves or in the markets of Les Landes and the Basque country.
Ideas for exploration: before dinner or should you want to to admire the sunset, make a date at the end of the lake where the oyster farmers await you!
Taste our oysters!