Why would a french woman who hates oysters want to visit La Mère Champlain, a restaurant famous for its oysters?
Yes, I know, every restaurant in Cancale is famous for its oysters because Cancale is the oyster capital of France.
The French have grown up with oysters, their love affair going back to Roman times.
They seem to instinctively know that it is very rare to become ill from a fresh oyster. After all, if you can eat snails and frogs legs, you should be able to eat oysters.
But for Ruth, getting near an oyster is like getting near the Ebola virus, an intense fear acquired from a bout of food poisoning after eating a plate of dodgy oysters in Australia.
It doesn’t matter to her that oysters contain vitamins and minerals, especially phosphorous, which is good for bones and teeth. Nor does it matter that they are low in calories.
And, of course, it’s widely believed to be an aphrodisiac. Casanova, the 18th Century lover, used to breakfast on 50 oysters a day to boost his libido!
But, no matter how hard I try, I cannot convince Ruth to eat oysters. Yet, she will eat any other type of seafood, all except oysters.
But Ruth was here for the view from the La Mère Champlain and the ambiance of this quaint seaside village in Brittany.
Our table faced the bay, just a step away from the footpath so that you could reach out and touch passer-byes.
And what did Ruth eat? Steak and chips! (poor man’s translation).
My libido needed some work, so I ordered ten oysters. Elsewhere in the world, you get a dozen oysters. But, France sticks rigidly to the metric system.
Nothing quite tastes like a dozen oysters (sorry, ten), enhanced by the salty, smooth, feeling of each live mollusc sliding down your throat.
La Mère Champlain
1, quai Administrateur en Chef Thomas 35260 Cancale
+33 2 99 89 60 04
Bus from St-Malo; car N.176 -> D.76 (from Mont Saint-Michel)