Tuesday, March 21, 2023
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LivingFood and DrinkOysters for Christmas Eve

Oysters for Christmas Eve

[Gay Cook]Oysters have always been my family’s special treat at Christmas time often on Christmas Eve. Jim Foster of Pelican Fishery and Grill, 1500 Bank St., in Ottawa converted us to the most delicious small oysters in their shell that come from Prince Edward Island. He offered me the oyster photo for this story.

Oyster1You can experience the taste of the sea in these oysters that are available from the waters in the cool shallow coves and bays around the Island. There distinct flavour gives them the branded name of the world-famous Malpeque. Many people like to use the simple squeeze of lemon on their oysters while others are more tuned to freshly grated fresh horseradish, sprinkling of black pepper or a hot sauce. To eat a raw oyster, tip the shell into your mouth, being careful to not spill the flavorful liquid surrounding the meat.

An oyster’s flavour depends largely on the minerals and nutrients found in the sea bed.  The Island produces about six to seven million pounds of oysters every year, and they’re enjoyed as a delicacy in restaurants and oyster bars around the globe. Harvesters in PEI still fish for oysters from dories using tongs — long rakes used in tandem to collect the oysters from the water’s bottom – as well as dredging. While connoisseurs tend to savour the freshly-shucked oyster on the half shell, the shellfish can also be baked, steamed, grilled, deep-fried or used in other dishes like oysters Rockefeller.

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