The Seductive, Shucking Superfood... 'Tis the Season!
It's the Cornish Oyster season from October until March, and The Wright Brothers who own the Duchy Oyster Farm in Cornwall, on the stunning Helford River (Falmouth) have been aiming to change our attitude to oysters in this country for some time now. They started a little under 15 years ago at a time when oysters were not widely consumed in the UK and there was a huge cultural division between the English and French. In France, oysters were widely grown and consumed on a regular basis, whereas in the UK they were eaten by a selective few and treated as a delicacy, so the Wright Brothers decided to change that! Education was their strategy, removing any remaining oyster snobbery or ignorance and exclusivity, getting more and more chefs, and their customers, to try different varieties, distinguish the flavours that come from cultivating them in habitats with different levels of minerality, and generally feel the love of this amazing superfood.
Then ten years ago, the brothers (by marriage) resurrected the Duchy Oyster Farm and now their own certified oysters (over 10 million native and pacific oysters per annum) can be found at their pub The Ferryboat Inn, set in the uber picturesque spot on the Helford, overlooking their oyster beds, in their three stunning Oyster & Porter house bars and restaurants in London, as well as across many other renowned bars and restaurants in the capital.
Oyster farming greatly improves the water too, increasing the bio diversity of the river and proving that aquaculture can have a positive impact on ecosystems.
How do you eat yours?
Natural- Max the flavour
A squeeze of Lemon- Gently highlights the taste of the ocean
A dash of Tabasco- For oysters that kick
Shallot Vinegar- Adds complexity
For those who can't get to grips with eating oysters raw, they can also be steamed, grilled or poached. Be inspired by the delicious Ferryboat Inn Smoked Oysters from the newly released, The Great Cornish Fish Book.
Some people are still really curious about Oysters and unsure how to serve them to their dinner guests, although they are an extremely simple dish to prepare (and always certain to impress!) Global recipes include; Oyster and Ale Pie, Sushi and Tempura as well as adding Crab and Cavair toppings, Bourbon and BBQ recipes. It's also highly recommended that they are enjoyed with Champagne, Guinness or a Sharp's Brewery Doom Bar beer!
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