Oyster Vending Machines Are a Thing Now, So 2017 Is Looking Up

The trend in vending machines right now seems to be to swap the standbys like Skittles and chips for some slightly more sophisticated fare. Or frankly, straight-up decadent fare. From building-sized setups that literally dispense luxury cars, to champagne-packed consoles doling out mini bottles of Moet, there's a push to make it easier to satisfy our most extravagant cravings on-demand.

Now, you can add oysters to the list of luxury items available via machine, thanks to an industrious couple of French oyster farmers who engineered one to meet the late-night demands of their bivalve-obsessed customers. 

The ingenious first-of-its-kind setup was installed on the island of Île de Ré off the western coast of France, where locals' oyster cravings are evidently so intense that it justified the existence of a machine that portions out fresh ones 24/7. The need for one became apparent when its inventors -- local oyster farmers Brigitte and Tony Berthelot -- discovered their customers were regularly showing up to buy their delicious stock after-hours, when their shop was closed. Not content to let their catch go unsold while they were away, they dreamed up the idea for this next-level vending machine. 

Like most traditional vending machines, this one provides you with plenty of options, offering selections of varying types, sizes, and quantities of oysters, each packed in small wooden boxes. Each compartment boasts a large window for you to get a peek at what's available, and you can even buy accoutrements like sauces and oyster crackers.

To ensure freshness (these aren't Pop-Tarts or cans of Coke, after all), the stock is switched out daily, and the machine is refrigerated. They're also sold "closed," which means you'll be shucking these guys yourself. But then again, if you don't know how to shuck, do you even deserve vending machine oysters?

h/tFood & Wine

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.