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Local products

The island of Ré is not only famous for its beautiful beaches, its many narrow streets ideal for bike rides and its marinas, but also for its local food products. The latter are also a source of numerous culinary tourist visits. They can’t wait to taste and cook the distinctive early potatoes, oysters, etc., which are unique to the Ile de Ré.

The exceptional taste of early potatoes from the Ile de Ré

The history of the early potato on the Ile de Ré dates back to the 18th century. This product reflects Rhaetan cultural know-how. Rhaetan farmers pay special attention to it. Regular monitoring was carried out to maintain this potato’s unique mosaic of spring flavors. This taste is also characterized by a firm texture, both sweet and salty, fine and melting. It’s precisely this unique taste, which qualifies it as a top-quality PDO, that makes it the island’s pride and joy. It is grown on 900 hectares on the Île de Ré, distributed among 30 truly passionate growers.

Salt production, a cultural and economic asset of the Rhaetan region

Salt production on the Ile de Ré has had its ups and downs, but since 1986, a policy of restoration has been put in place, culminating in the creation of the Maison des marais salants. Today, salt is a source of both cultural and economic pride. It is renowned as table salt and its ability to enhance the taste of dishes. In addition to production, the hand-harvesting method is also a cultural activity that stems from salt production. It’s natural, rich in magnesium and iodine, and good for your health. It’s easier to harvest from the surface of the ringing salt marshes: this is the fleur de sel of the Ile de Ré. But the gray sea salt is also harvested by hand at the bottom of the sounding areas. With this one, a fairly high level of saturation is required during crystallization, which explains its gray color. The latter, on the other hand, is ideal for boiling culinary preparations.
Staying within the salt production sector, the Rhaetans are also known for the production of caramel with fleur de sel. It’s actually a caramel, as the name suggests, but it’s mixed with a little salt from the Ile de Ré. With pineau or honeys, holidaymakers should be sure to try some.


Oysters and beers from the Ile de Ré

In Saint Martin, the yachting scene is always lively in high season. Oysters, which have become a symbolic dish in Rhaetan cuisine, also play a part. Still fresh, they are a delight to the taste buds once in the mouth. The Rhétais produce 8,000 tonnes annually. And the 100% natural beers produced on site have become one of the island’s pride and joys. Free from additives, colorants and artificial preservatives, the beers come in a variety of varieties, but all have a very good reputation, like the 2 special beers: white Agrume and Collector.