For the first time Belon oysters were mentioned in written sources as early as in the 4th century AD, when Ozonius the poet from Rome, gave a detailed description of these tender creatures – a product coastal waters of Brittany. Even at that time, the product was highly prized.
Molluscs were taken specifically from the French province Brittany for the emperors of the Roman Empire in huge clay jars of water which should be constantly changed.
Since the mid 19th century, growing these delicious seafood in the river Belon had become Solminyak family affair and they managed to keep the perfect taste of that cultured seafood.
Nowadays in France some special researches in laboratory were made and it has proven that in the mouth of the Belon river only, by the the name of which the molluscs were named, there is a very special content of the water. Sea water is mixed with fresh water, and water from the springs which are iron-rich. That is why the special Belon oysters grow there, the taste of which is highly estimated around the world.
Now Belon oysters growing is a complex long-term process that involves handwork and the most unique work of water. Small oysters are grown on the Atlantic coast – on the deep-sea shores in the French province of Brittany for several years. After this, the process of affining or seafood “improving” is started. They are placed into the natural environment – in the mouth of the Belon water, where special water environment enriches that luxury taste of shellfish, gives them the unique features, typical to that variety only.
Belon oysters belong to the flat type or Flat Oysters, which are the most valuable and rare type. Growing them is much harder than common deep oysters, so the price is quite high. Belon mollusks have more intense color, dense meat and a long strong finish. Belon oysters have earned their fame among gourmets from all over the world due to their fresh and delicate flavor with a remarkable sharp iodic and metallic taste and light nut note.
Size classification of Flat Oysters is determined by the number of zeros: the smallest will be marked as a zero, and the biggest size – which is more than 120g – will be marked by four zero-digits. Like all the oysters of that type, elite Belon oysters are rich in vitamins A, B, C and D, as well as rich in mineral nutrient such as zinc, phosphorus, iodine, calcium and iron. It is enough to have 4-5 pieces of delicacies only to completely cover all the daily need for these minerals.
Despite of the overall opinion shellfishes could be eaten not uncooked only, in the traditional way served on ice with lemons. There are many recipes for these mollusks: they are baked, cook soups, fried and added to the original cocktails. Serve them with dry white wine, champagne.
But the most important requirement for any seafood recipes with them is the same: they must be alive. Taken away from the natural environment, they cannot live more than a month – so when buying a delicacy you should carefully consider the date of the take on the label.