An Oyster Education

 

The World is our Oyster

Every day The Morrison shucks hundreds of oysters, from farm to table these ‘lil pearlers are the oceans gift and for avid seafood lovers there is nothing better than slurping back a fresh oyster and its liquor… With Australia’s oyster farmers producing some of the best in the world (the Tathra region in NSW winning awards year on year), it’s our duty to celebrate and educate our guests on the mysteries of the mollusc.

 

To start, in Australia we grown three kinds of oysters: Sydney Rock, Pacific and Angasi (the flat native). The first two will be familiar to most oyster enthusiasts, served in restaurants and markets across the country. Grown in plastic trays or baskets in oyster leases in pristine Aussie waters, typically for 2-4 years before being harvested for eating.


SYDNEY ROCK OYSTER: Although branded as “Sydney Rock” these oysters are not confined to Sydney, growing inter-tidally along NSW and lower QLD coast line, in bays, estuaries and lakes. With rich mineral flavours often with vegetal creamy notes. What is amazing about these oysters is the habitat they grow in, the plant vegetation heavily influencing the algae the oysters feed on, giving those layers of flavours and complexities that are completely unique to Australia flora and terrior.


PACIFIC OYSTER: Not originally native to Australia, Pacific oysters are grown at sub-tidally where they roll in the motion of the ocean, creating the characteristic deep round shell. The flesh is a steely grey or white, tasting classically fresh, salty and meaty. Pacific oysters grow much faster than rock oysters and we’re now seeing a trend in pacific oysters that have been grown in a Sydney rock environment, the point of difference being those flavours from the fresh water nutrients, as opposed to have that full oceanic flavour profile.


ANGASI OYSTER: The big daddy of oysters, sometimes called a “flat” or “native” oyster was one of the first known seafood farmed in Australia. Full flavoured and textured, the Angasi is rich with mineral flavours, the meat generally flatter due the shape of its shell. It’s difficult to find in stores, being fragile and slow growing.


HOW TO PREPARE OYSTERS: For those oyster fanatics wanting to prepare their own at home, rock and pacific oysters can be purchased from your local fish market or direct from some farmers. Unopened rock oysters can keep for 2-3 weeks at 14-18ºC.

 

Pacific Oysters are best kept in the coolest part of the fridge at around 5-8ºC, in the crisper. Depending on the environment you’re serving them in, oysters are best served at ambient temperature, on rock salt as opposed to prolonged on ice. However you can put them under ice for 20 minutes which makes them easier to shuck and takes the edge off top the notes of oyster.

 

Quite simply, hold with ear facing out, positioned safely in tea towel, insert knife at 15 degrees, wiggle the blade into the hinge until the lid pops open, then slide knife to 2 o’clock position and twist. Cut the muscle from the lid and the shell and serve with fresh lemon and a simple mignonette!

 


Sean’s Mignonette:
1/2 ecshallot finely chopped
100ml quality red wine vinegar (we use Forvm Cabarent Sauvignon)

 

HAPPY SHUCKING FOLKS!