Above: The Captain Panko dish at Amélie in Paris, France

Ancient oyster shells found during archaeological excavations of Gallo-Roman sites in Paris indicate that residents of the French capital have loved these bivalves for centuries. Their popularity got a major boost during the 19th century when expansion of the French rail system made it easier to supply the city with oysters from Normandy, Brittany and the French Atlantic coast. Today France is one of the world’s largest consumers and producers of the shellfish, which are scarfed down with gusto in the city’s many oyster bars and brasseries, especially during the height of the season from September to April.

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Above: The Captain Panko dish at Amélie in Paris, France