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Shellfish (crustaceans and molluscs )
musselscrabs

Introduction

  1. Shellfish are of two types: - Crustaceans (lobster, crabs)
                                               - Molluscs (oysters, mussels)
  1. The simple ten legged types, the prawn-like types
  2. The hard shelled lobsters which are sub divided in

lobster

Molluscs

Only the most important (from a culinary point of view) are mentioned.  This classification is not based on a zoological system but again from a culinary point.

  • The double shelled or bivalve  (mussels, oysters, clams, cockles, scallops, carpet shell clams etc.)
  • Snails (sea snails: periwinkles, winkles, whelks and land snails: grapevine or garden snails)
  • Ink fish (dwarf ink fish, calamari)
scallopbivalves  

The use of shellfish

There are a great many possibilities for using crustaceans and molluscs in a menu.  Like other fish, shellfish has a fine structure; it is easy to digest and has a delicate and neutral flavour.  In paragraph 6 of this chapter more details will be discussed about the biological characteristics of several crustaceans and molluscs and the various ways they can be prepared.  The following are a few examples:

  • As a cold starter: crab cocktail
  • As a clear or bound soup: lobster soup
  • As a warm starter: gratinated oysters
  • As an individual dish: grilled crawfish
  • As a main course: boiled mussels
  • As a garnish: prawns with a fish dish
  • As a garnish: periwinkles
crabcakes

Some types of shellfish are more suitable for cold preparations, some for hot preparations and some for raw consumption.  The following are a few examples:

  • Dutch prawns, lobster, oysters and mussels are good examples for cold preparations
  • Grapevine snails, frogs’ legs, mussels, lobster, ink fish, cockles and whelks are all good examples for hot preparations.  Combinations are also possible for example half a cold lobster with half a roasted lobster.
  • Shellfish are often eaten raw, for example oysters: eaten raw with a little lemon juice
  • Raw and/or cooked shells of shellfish can be used for bouillon, fond or fumet.  From this basis, clear or bound soups can be made or sauces.
  • Lastly, the innards of shellfish and coral and the ink from ink fish can be used in sauces and for colouring.

oysters

The nutritional value of shellfish

Like other fish, shellfish are composed of 80% water.  Despite this, the nutritional value of shellfish is high.  The protein percentage varies from six to eighteen percent, while the fat percentage is between one and two percent and the carbohydrate percentage between zero and four percent.
Crustacean and mollusc contain Vitamins A and B and the minerals calcium, iodine and iron.  Since they contain very little connective tissue, they are easy to digest and quick to cook.

Allergy and protein content

Not everyone can eat shellfish.  Some people get an allergic reaction after eating shellfish. This is caused by the protein content, which tends to be higher in the months of April, May and June. After this period the protein content gradually reduces and in the autumn and winter most people will not have the allergic reaction

Purchasing crustacean and molluscs

Attention must be paid to the following points when crustaceans and molluscs are being purchased:

  1. The types of shellfish available
  2. The physical condition of the shellfish
  3. The quality hallmarks to which the fish must comply
  4. The price

These points will be discussed in more detail:

  1. The types of shellfish available

Crustacean and mollusc have different characteristics that are important when purchasing them:

Crustaceans:

    • Crustaceans do not have a backbone but a protective outer shell, like a suit of armour, which turns red when heated. It is made of calcium and chitine (a protein type of material that can be compared to cellulose). The shell is either smooth or prickly.
    • The body can be divided into head, main body (breast piece) and back end
    • Crustaceans have a tailpiece that is made up of segments, which are held together by skin/film.
    • Crustaceans have highly developed back legs or claws
    • Crustaceans live in both sea and fresh water, whether it is cold or warmer water

    north sea crab

Bivalve molluscs:  (molluscs with two shells)

    • Bivalve molluscs have no back bones and their bodies are composed of four parts:
      • The head, which contains the mouth opening, tentacles and eyes
      • The muscled foot which is responsible for the movement
      • An intestinal bag with the digestive organs
      • The mantle that covers the gill cavity and separates the shell
    • The home of the bivalve molluscs consists of two protective shells that are attached together by a muscular hinge.
    • Bivalve molluscs live in both fresh and salt water and in both in cold and warmer water.

    mussel

Snails (molluscs)

    • Snails have a recognizable head with one or two pairs of ‘feelers’ and in the mouth a radula or rasp-like tongue.  The tentacles, the mantle cavity and intestinal bag are in the protective shell, which hold the soft body with a muscle.
    • Most types have a spiral shaped shell.  There are types with no shell and others similar to the bivalve molluscs.
    • All snails have a ‘foot’ on the underside that helps them to move around.
    • Sea snails are very noticeable in colour and shape.  Land snails are on the other hand, are unnoticeable in colour.
    • Snails live in the sea, in freshwater and on land and use calcium to build their shells (for this reason they are often found in areas with hard water i.e. Calcium rich areas)

    escargot

Ink fish (molluscs)

    • Ink fish are the most developed molluscs and live only in the sea
    • The head is obviously separated from the body: it has two jaws and a rasp like tongue.  Around the mouth are the arms that are often provided with suckers. In the stomach side of the bag shaped body is the mantle cavity.
    • Most ink fish have no outside shell such as snails but a porous internal shell
    • Almost all ink fish have a gland, which produce a brown/black liquid: the ink.

    squis

How many crustaceans and molluscs to be purchased will depend on:

  • The possibilities that the production process offers
  • The composition of the menu
  • The average number of guests expected
  • The storage facilities

Purchasing criteria for peeled, cooked prawns

Hallmark

Colour

Smell

Flavour

Texture

Fresh, good quality

Orange to brown/orange shell rings on the back; visible marks after removal; underside whitish;
prawn flesh white

Sweet, fresh, typical prawn smell

Sweet, meaty

Tender, almost crispy but melts on the tongue

Medium to poor quality

Shell rings almost invisible, bleached on the backside, similar colour to the underside, pink sometimes purplish (orange colour has disappeared)

Slightly prawn, slightly aromatic, slightly boiled potato smell, slightly sliced cabbage smell, slightly fishy, slightly cheesy

Saccharine-sweet, bland or slightly bitter`

Slightly dry or tough, slightly spongy, more difficult to chew

Poor quality (rejected)

Bleached, pale, colour is same all over; shell rings invisible, colour is pale purple

Cheesy, slightly rancid, slight ammonia smell, then sour, fishy, rotten, later stage - ammonia smell

Bitter, sour, fishy, earthy later prickly ammonia, strong bitter, taste of rotting protein

Spongy, rubbery, difficult to swallow

Purchasing criteria for crayfish


Hallmark

Colour

Smell

Flavour

Texture

Fresh, good quality

Back shell: pale pink or pink to orange/red
General: shiny black eyes and pink gills
Tail: the visible flesh is transparent, blue to whitish in colour

Sweet smell of shellfish

Sweet, meaty

Tender, almost crispy but melts on the tongue

Medium to poor quality

Back shell: pale pink or pink /orange red, no black spots
General: dull grey/black eyes, greyish gills
Tail: the visible flesh loses its transparency but is not discoloured

Not sweet, no characteristic shellfish smell

Saccharine – sweet, bland or slightly bitter

Slightly dry or tough, a little spongy, more difficult to chew

Poor quality (rejected)

Back shell: the characteristic colour is still present, but it is discoloured, light black spots and greyish colour namely on the shell and between the claws
General: gills dark grey or back side of the shell green
Tail: flesh is not transparent, looks dull

Slightly sour ammonia

Bitter, sour, fishy, earthy, later prickly ammonia, strongly bitter, rotting protein

Spongy, rubbery, very difficult to chew

Purchasing criteria for mussel flesh


Hallmark

Colour and appearance

Smell

Flavour

Texture

Fresh, good quality

Natural colour variations – pale white to light orange, fresh and lively appearance

Penetrating mussel smell, fresh, salty, boiled egg, creamy, buttery

Typical mussel flavour, salt, fresh and sweet

Tender, smooth and juicy

Medium to poor quality

Shine has disappeared, slightly bluish tinge

Slight mussel flavour

Boiled potatoes, tinned flavour, bland

Slightly dry or tough, more difficult to chew

Poor quality (rejected)

Discoloured, bleached pale grey, slightly green, dull, grey, green, dark grey, grey haze

Boiled potatoes, musty, sour, earthy, sour, slight ammonia, mouldy, very sour, ammonia, stinking bitter, strong smell of almonds, rotting smell, rancid, rotted

Flavourless, slightly fishy, beans, no mussel flavour, watery, sour, bitter after taste, muddy, sour, bitter, rancid

Beginning to be mealy, weak, watery, pudding-like, soft

Purchasing criteria for cockles


Hallmark

Colour and appearance

Smell and flavour

Texture

Sand

Fresh, good quality

Visibly white, shiny, ball shaped

Salt, shallow water flavour, chicken, typical mollusc flavour

Firm, tender

No sand present

Medium to poor quality

White, without shine, wrinkled

Neutral, potato, purslane, slight tinned vegetable flavour

Tough

A little (during chewing)

Poor quality (rejected)

Dull, faded, weak, slimy, colours run, grey appearance

No definite smell, grassy, sour, drainage smell, strong grassy smelly

Weak, frayed

Easily noticed, lots of sand

2. Physical condition of the shellfish

Crustacean and mollusc can be purchased in three ways:

    1. Alive/fresh
    2. Prepared / pre-cooked
    3. Preserved
    1. Alive / fresh

Alive/fresh crustaceans of good quality can be recognised by the following:

    • The liveliness and powerful tail movement of the fish
    • The fresh salt smell
    • Clean gills, with no scum oozing out of them
    • The elastic, crooked tail

Alive/fresh molluscs of good quality can be recognised by the following:

    • The fresh salt smell
    • Their closed shells.  If shells are opened or partly opened and do not close when tapped, they should be discarded as they are generally inedible.  Molluscs that have gone off can lead to serious food poisoning!
    1. Prepared

Prepared products of good quality can be recognised by:

    • A fresh colour
    • The salty, fresh smell.  A fishy or ammonia smell is normally a signal that the fish is rancid.
    • The elastic, crooked tail of crustacean
    • The absence of stickiness in products without shells
    • The use-by-date or latest selling date on the packaging
    1. Preserved

Preserved products of good quality are:

    • Mostly tinned and are known as full preserves
    • Cooked and sterilised in the tins at a temperature of between 110º C and 150º

3. The quality hallmarks to which the fish must comply

Most crustacean and mollusc are imported in Holland. Exceptions to this are Dutch prawns, mussels, oysters, cockles and periwinkles. They can be purchased fresh, prepared or preserved.  The Food Safety Standards controls imported crustacean and mollusc carefully before they are allowed on to the market.

Shellfish of good quality can only survive alive, in clean water. Molluscs, especially the bivalve types, are good indicators for the quality of the surface water as they quickly store away any contaminating materials.

The following are two examples of how to decide if the products can be used or not.  The freshness of snail types and mussels can be seen as follows:

  1. Snail types

If snails that are plunged in water for ten minutes and allowed to drain do not come out of their shells, they are dead and unusable.

  1. Mussels

The freshness of mussels can be tested in the following ways:

    1. The knocking test
    2. The sensitivity test
    3. The pigment test
  1. The knocking test

The degree to which living mussels react to certain prickles can be tested.  The sensitivity of the mussels can be seen on the sphincter and on the foot muscles.  Fresh mussels pull the sphincter together and close the shell when the mussel shell is knocked or tapped a few times.  Less fresh mussels react more slowly or not at all.

  1. The sensitivity test

If the sphincter is cut through, the foot muscle can be tested.  The foot should be touched with a sharp object. Fresh mussels pull the foot in directly which takes on the shape of a heart. If the mussels are less fresh, the foot is pulled in less quickly, the heart shape of the foot changes to the shape of a tongue.

  • The pigment test

During the dying off period of mussels, the colour of the foot changes.  The foot of a fresh mussel is dark brown. The pigment is stuck to the foot and cannot be removed with a spatula. On the other hand the pigment of a not so fresh mussel will loosen easily.  The colour of the under-ground is white.  In dead mussels, that are already decaying, the pigment dissolves itself.

Knocking test

Sensitivity test

Pigment test

Freshness

+

+

+

Fresh

(+)

+

+

Moderately fresh

(-)

(-)

(+)

Old

-

-

+

Dead, but not decayed

-

-

-

Decayed

  1. The price

The price of crustacean and molluscs is highly influenced by the physical characteristics and the method of distribution.  The price of fresh lobster is obviously far more expensive than deep-frozen lobster.  The distance the product will have to be transported and the size of the loads will also determine the end price.

Careful menu planning is important where fish is concerned – which dishes is fish required? On which menus? for what purposes?.  Good purchasing procedures are especially important for the expensive types of fish such as oysters, lobster, crayfish, scallops and the like

The treatment of crustacean and mollusc in the kitchen

For a proper handling of crustacean and mollusc in the kitchen, the physical condition of the fish when purchased is of the utmost importance.  As seen above, shellfish can be purchased in three ways: alive/fresh, prepared or preserved.

In the following paragraphs a closer look will be taken of the various steps in the kitchen for fresh and preserved shellfish.
These steps include the following:

  • Transport
  • Delivery
  • Storage
  • Pre-preparation
  • Preparation

Alive / and or fresh crustacean and mollusc

  1. Transport

The distributor packs living/fresh crustacean often in polystyrene boxes, which allow oxygen to circulate through them.  The fish are covered with damp paper, damp wood shavings or seaweed with a cooling element.  Seaweed is the best covering, as it does not negatively affect the flavour of the fish.   Crustacean must be stored cool and humid at a temperature of between 1 and 4º C.  As long as the gills do not dry out or freeze, fresh crustacean can be stored for 48 hours.

oyster packaging

  1. Delivery

When an order of shellfish is delivered, the following point must be carefully checked:

    1. Is the amount and weight delivered, that which was ordered?
    2. Is the type of fish delivered, that which was ordered?
    3. Does the fish meet the quality hallmarks as mentioned above concerning colour, smell, flavour and texture?
    4. Are the sizes correct?
    5. Is the temperature of the fish correct (maximal 4º C)

Particularly for bivalve molluscs is it important that the packaging is intact and unopened.

A clear etiquette should be attached to the packaging with the following information:

    1. The name of the producer or the company
    2. The country of origin
    3. The date the fish were caught
    4. The date the fish were exported or distributed
    5. The sell-by or use-by dat
  1. Storage

When the delivery has been checked and is not to be used straight away, it will be placed in storage.  Once in storage, it should be controlled on a daily basis for: the physical condition, and hygiene.
Attention should be paid to the following:

    1. Living crustacean should be stored in the cooling at a temperature of 1 - 4º C in damp paper, seaweed or damp wood shavings.  The product must be covered with a damp cloth and stored in a dark area. If the gills are allowed to dry out or freeze, the crustacean will die.
    2. Crustaceans or molluscs can be stored in an aquarium or homarium (lobster box) / pond with fresh or salt water.  Homaria must contain a filter, cooling and oxygen system.  The water temperature in homaria should be between 9 - 12º C.
    3. Molluscs (bivalves such as oysters and mussels) should be stored in their original packaging, unopened, in the cooling at a temperature of between 1 and 4º C. If the packaging is opened, it should be closed in such a way as to ensure that the shells cannot open. For example the lid of a basket of oysters can be weighed down with a heavy stone.  If bivalves are allowed to open, they will lose valuable moisture, dry out and become unfit for use.
    4. Molluscs are stored in polystyrene boxes, which allow oxygen to filter through, in a dark, humid area and cool at a temperature of 1 - 4ºC.

How should prawns be stored?

Prawns can decay very quickly.  It is therefore important to take note of the following guidelines for storing them:

    1. Store them cool, at a temperature of 1 - 2º C and check them regularly
    2. Do not store them in plastic bags but rather in a dish which is covered with plastic
    3. Never remove prawns by hand but always with a clean spoon.  This is important to avoid the possibility of contamination and bacterial poisoning
  1. Pre-preparation

An important point in preparing living crustacean is that they should always be handled carefully.  Rough or wrong handling can lead to unnecessary stress of the fish whereby the quality will deteriorate.  The guest will be given a dish that is tough!  With correct handling, the quality of the dish will always be better.

The following are a few examples of work carried out during mise-en-place in the fish section:

  1. How to peel prawns
    1. Hold the prawn by the head and tail and pull them with a circular movement apart
    2. Put pressure on the back shell with thumb and forefinger till it springs open
    3. Open the belly with both hands so that the flesh can be removed
    4. Cut along the back carefully with a sharp knife, in the length
    5. Remove the intestinal canal

    b. How to portion a lobster

    1. Kill the lobster with a pin between its’ eyes
    2. Remove the claws with a circular movement
    3. Half the lobster with a sharp knife between the head and the tail. Remove the tail with a circular movement from the rump and cut open with scissors
    4. Collect the liquid.  This consists of marrow, coral and seawater and can be used later in a sauce.
    5. Remove the stomach
    6. Crush the thick pieces of the legs
    7. Cut the legs from the body

    c. How to open oysters

    1. Hold the oyster firmly with the rounded side downwards
    1. Grip it very firm, for example in a clean tea towel which will help to strengthen the grip and avoid it slipping away
    2. Place the oyster knife in the ‘hinge’
    3. With a circular movement of the knife, open the oyster
    4. Loosen the oyster from the shell

    opening oysters

  2. How to handle fresh cockles

With fresh cockles the biggest job is to remove the often, large amounts of sand from the shells.  Even when they are sold ‘free of sand’, they are often not!  To remove the sand from the shells, there are two possibilities:

    1. Open each shell separately with a knife.  In the round side there is usually a small space that the point of a knife can be entered.  Rinse the cockles in water with sea salt.         OR
    2. Place the cockles for a night in water with sea salt and freshen the water regularly

The second possibility is the least amount of work but the first one offers the best results.

  1. How to handle whelks

Whelks must be purchased alive, as they are normally tough when frozen.  It is essential to wash them thoroughly to remove sand and other debris.
After preparation they must be removed from their shells.  The small plate that the whelks use to protect their ‘house’ should be removed as well as the breathing tube and other attachments.  The tube goes from the top, where the plate sat, along the hollow side of the whelk to the bottom. With a little exertion of a fingernail, it can all be easily removed.  What remains is a small white-grey piece of whelk-flesh, which must be rinsed.

  1. How to handle snails

Allowing them to fast in a well -ventilated box for a week to ten days cleans living snails. This ensures that all the poisonous materials are excreted from the snails.  They should be kept moist.
Before cooking they should be placed for an hour in salted water and then rinsed. Snails are cooked for about two hours.  After cooking the soft stomach, the tip of the snail, should be removed.

5. Preparation

Before cooking crustacean and mollusc, it is important to note that:

  • Crustacean and mollusc have very little connective tissue, therefore they require very little cooking time
  • The flavour of crustacean and mollusc is neutral.  Chose therefore cooking techniques and accompanying products that will not change their own character
  • Enzymes very quickly attack the flesh after dying, for this reason it is better to cook the fish alive.  (See the chapter on fish for further information on enzyme decay).

Preserved crustaceans and molluscs

The most common type of preserved crustaceans and molluscs are deep-frozen. They are practically never smoked, as during this process they would lose their subtle flavour.

Most commonly they are:

    1. Fully preserved: lobster, crab, cockles, prawns in tins
    2. Halve preserved: mussels, ink fish, in vinegar
  1. Transport

During transportation the following must be adhered to:

    1. That the products be transported in their original, closed packaging in cool transporters at a temperature of 1 - 4º C, at the correct humidity.
    2. That the cooling chain for cooled and deep-frozen products never be broken
  1. Delivery

When an order of deep-frozen fish has been delivered, the following points must be carefully checked:

    1. The packaging is still intact
    2. That there is no moisture in the packaging – in this case it has been thawed at some point
    3. The sell-by date has not been exceeded
    4. The product does not appear to be discoloured or have dried patches
    5. The product does not have a peculiar smell
    6. De-frosting should be carried out in the fridge
  1. Storage

When storing frozen crustacean and mollusc, the following is important:

    1. That the temperature of the freezer is at least -18º C
    2. The packaging is durable and preferably original
    3. That the storage limits are not exceeded
    4. That the system of first in, first out, is in place and being used
  1. Pre-preparation and preparation

Full and half preserved products of crustaceans and molluscs are in general ‘ready to serve’ products.  The cleaning and peeling work has normally been done in advance of freezing or pickling.

The farming and harvesting of crustacean and mollusc

Crustaceans and molluscs are farmed over the whole world.  Two examples will be discussed in this paragraph: Dutch top quality mussels from Zeeland and French oysters.

oyster culture

Mussel farming

Mussels are farmed in huge quantities in Europe.  Spain produces the largest numbers followed by Holland.  “Mussel gardens” are found in shallow sea -beds where mussels are continuously bred artificially.  There are two main types of mussel gardens:
1. Seed mussels attach themselves naturally to ropes hanging in the water (in Spain and Italy) or on stakes that are planted in a line on the sea bottom (in France).

2. Seed mussels are ‘seeded out’ on sea- beds.

In Holland the second method is used – the mussel -seed system.  Dutch mussel culture is based on natural seed resources that are fished from wild stocks in the Wadden Sea and replaced to bottom culture lots elsewhere in the Wadden Sea and in the Oosterschelde estuary.
When the small mussels attach themselves to the sea bed (specially prepared mussel beds), complete mussel sand banks develop.  The sea movement pushes the mussels together and they end up sticking together literally.  Twice a year the mussel seed is freed for fishing. The mussel seeds are seeded out in shallow water: later when they have grown to 3 or 4 centimetres, they are taken to deeper water.  When they are 5 – 7 centimetres they are trailed in nets from the sea bottom and stored on the coast in seawater.  This storage is necessary to naturally remove the sand that gets into the mussels as they are fished.  This storage guarantees a high quality of mussels and an almost continuous supply in combination with cooling possibilities and transport.

Oyster farming

Oyster cultivation is very time consuming and intensive. On average it takes 3 – 4 years before oysters can be marketed.    Miniscule larvae are caught by oyster farmers in so-called collectors,  (lime-coated slates, roof tiles, blocks or rods).  After ± 8 months the young oysters are removed and placed in sheltered habitat - oyster basins or parks with plankton-rich water.  Here they are put into cases or bags in spread on the seabed for two to three years before they are ready for marketing. Their flavour begins to diminish once they reach the age of fine. The most sought-after, most expensive oysters, are those classified as ‘fines de claires’, from Marennes. They are given further treatment to improve their quality.  They are raised in specially converted salt marshes, where the water is frequently changed and is higher in mineral content.  The special ingredient in this water is the tiny organism Navicula ostrearia, which, because it contains chlorophyll, imparts a distinctive and much admired green tinge to the oysters.

Crustacean and molluscs

Minimum

Average

Maximum

Class (size)

Availability
(Best time)

Crustacean

 

 

 

 

 

Dutch prawns

 

4,5 – 8 cm

9 cm

Width of back shell:
Size 1:  6,8 mm or more
Size 2:  6,5 mm or more

End of summer,
Autumn

Norwegian prawns

 

3 – 14,5 cm

14,5 cm

 

Whole year

Large deep-sea prawns

 

 

33,5 cm

With head    Without head
  5-12 per kg   0-5per kg
13-15 per kg   6-8 per kg
16-20 per kg   9 – 12 per kg
21-25 per kg  13-15 per kg
26-30 per kg  16-20 per kg

Whole year

North sea crab

 

± 20 cm  *
800 – 1200g

 

* Ø back shell

Whole year,
Best supply: March/April &
October/Nov.

King crab

 

20– 30 cm
3 – 5 kg*

 

*Ø Head/breast piece

Whole year

Blue crab

 

12 – 14 cm

 

Available deep frozen in various sizes from small to jumbo with weights from 80 – 100 gr

Fresh supply the whole year, but irregular

Sea lobster

20 cm

 

70-75 cm

Canners  200 – 400 gr
Chix       400 – 500 gr
Quarters 500 – 600 gr
Halves    600 – 700 gr
Selects    800 – 1200 gr
Jumbo’s     >    1200 gr
Culls       one claw

Whole year, made possible by storage in tanks

Crawfish
(European)

 

20 – 50 cm
400 – 3000 gr

50 cm

 

Whole year

River lobster

 

10 – 15 cm
80 – 130 g

 

 

Whole year

Dublin Bay Prawns /Norwegian lobster

 

12-14 cm

± 24 cm

 0 –   5 per kg
 6 –  10 per kg
11 – 15 per kg
15 – 20 per kg
21 – 30 per kg
31 – 40 per kg
41 – 50 per kg

Whole year

Crustacean and molluscs

Minimum

Average

Maximum

Class (size)

Availability
(best time)

Molluscs

 

 

 

 

 

1. Bivalve mollusc

 

 

 

 

 

Creuse or Japanese oyster

 

7,5 – 15 cm

20 cm

Very large > 100 gr
Large      75 – 99 gr
Average  50 – 74 gr
Small           < 50 gr

Whole year (September – February)

Flat oysters

 

5 – 8 cm

 

3/0          60 – 75 gr
4/0          75 – 90 gr
5/0          90 – 105 gr
6/0        105 – 120 gr
6/0 s           >  120 g

Best time: September – April, also available in July

Mussels

 

 

 

1 min. 220 g max 55
2 min. 200 g max 65
3 min. 180 g max 75
4 < 180 g       > 75

End July – end November (pos.  March)

Cockles

 

2 – 3 cm

 

 

Whole year  (August – December)

Scallops

 

10 – 12 cm

17 cm

 

Shells with roe: February – March;
Shells without roe: rest of the year except summer months

2. Snails

 

 

 

 

 

Whelks

 

6 – 8 cm

15 cm

 

Whole year

Periwinkles

 

2 cm

3 cm

 

Whole year

Grapevine snails

 

 

 

Number per  ¼ lt  ½ lt  1 lt
Super large      12    24    48
(supergéant)
Extra large       18    36    72
(extra gros)
Large                 24   48    96
(très gros)
Medium            36    72   144
(moyen)
Small                 48    96   192
(petit)

Preserve, the whole year

3. Ink fish

 

 

 

 

 

Calamari

 

30 – 50 cm

50 cm

Max. 1,5 kg

Fresh/deep frozen the whole year

4. Frogs (amphibians)

 

 

 

 

 

Frogs legs

 

20 – 30 gr

 

Only thighs and rumps

Whole year