Maine “Belon” Oyster Flavor Profile Characteristics
Belon Oysters have a world famous name and reputation. They are the European Flat species (Ostrea edulis). The true Belon Oyster is culitivated in the Belon River, France and has the AOC protected name. Technically, only oysters from this region in France can be called Belon Oysters.
European Flat Oysters are cultivated in Washington State and in Maine and marketed as ‘Belon” Oysters because they are the same species as the French Belon. The Maine “Belon” Oyster was transplated from France in the 1950’s and grow wild in the chilly waters of the Damariscotta River. They grow on hard, rocky areas on the bottom of the river and are hand harvested by divers. The river freezes over in December and harvesting is impossible until after the spring thaw. Only about 5000 are harvested each year so availability is very limited. They have a large, round, relatively shallow cup, with a beautiful scallop shaped shell tinged vibrant green from the area’s algae.
European Flat Oysters have a distinctly different taste than what Americans are used to from our Pacific and Atlantic Oyster species. The Belon Oysters will be either loved or hated and are not for beginners. Belon Oyster’s flavor is powerful, shocking even. They have a mild brininess, a potent coppery taste with a tannic accent and a crisp bite to the plump meats.
|“Belon” Oyster from Maine|
|Location||Damariscotta River, Maine|
|Species||European Flat Oyster (Ostrea edulis)|
|Oyster Availability||September – November|
|Size||3″ to 5″|
|Oyster Cultivation||Wild Bottom Grown|
|Oyster Flavor Profile||Maine Belon Oysters have a mild brininess, a potent coppery taste with a tannic accent and a crisp bite to the plump meats.|
See proper shellfish storage methods for the best way to maintain the shelf life and flavor of your oysters.