Learn all about these Atlantic culinary treasures from a Canadian oyster-shucking champion.
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PEI’s Malpeque oysters have been famous since 1900 when they were named “the best in the world” at the Paris World’s Fair.
When it comes to oysters, few people in the world know more than four-time Canadian shucking champ, Patrick McMurray. Who better to share eight things you need to know about Prince Edward Island’s treasured bivalves?
1. PEI’s Malpeque oysters have been famous since 1900 when they were named “the best in the world” at the Paris World’s Fair.
2. There are two kinds of oyster fisheries on PEI: wild and cultured. Both taste absolutely delicious.
3. It takes an oyster approximately five to seven years to grow to the recommended harvesting size of three inches in the wild. That process can be reduced to four years using aquaculture techniques. And those dinky ‘cocktail’ oysters? They take just two to three years to produce.
4. Locals describe PEI oysters as a “little kiss from the ocean.”
5. On PEI, harvesters of wild oysters head out onto the water in flat crafts called dories and use stainless steel ‘tongs’ to pull the oysters from their bed.
6. In Charlottetown, head straight for the Claddagh Oyster House run by Liam Dolan, to sample freshly-shucked PEI oysters from across the island.
8. Every September, join the locals in Charlottetown for the annual PEI Shellfish Festival. Slurp your way through 10 different varieties of PEI oysters and watch the world’s finest shuckers battle it out at the Raspberry Point International Oyster Shucking Championship.
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