Bluff oyster given the personal touch
The Bluff oyster is reputedly one of the best in the world, I am told, but until yesterday, I could not personally vouch for this.
Despite living in Invercargill for the past two years I had never eaten a Bluff oyster - in fact I have never tried oysters of any sort from anywhere in the world.
I am not what you would call a seafood fan.
In Ireland, I avoided fish and only picked over a battered cod and chips.
My opinion changed slightly when I moved to Southland and discovered blue cod, now happily eaten sans batter - quite an achievement for me.
So, armed with my newfound love for at least one type of seafood, I made the bold move to give oysters a whirl.
And what better sample to try than the world famous Bluff variety.
"When in Rome" and all that.
Unsure what to expect taste and texture wise, I was a little nervous as I stood in the factory waiting for my turn.
A blob of slime was staring up at me from a freshly shucked shell.
Surely this wasn't what all the fuss was about?
I didn't know how to eat it, so watched as an expert showed me how.
When my turn came, the first thing I thought was be brave, it can't be that bad.
Turns out the little things aren't so little and I contempleted cutting it just to be able to eat it, but the laughter at the suggestion convinced me to just give it a go.
All I could smell was the sea and as I slurped it into my mouth, all I could taste was the sea.
I chewed, at first I thought I was going to be sick but then my tastebuds kicked in.
It sounds strange but I could almost taste the ruggedness of the Foveaux Strait.
It was not as strong as I expected, and I actually enjoyed the flavour.
Some of my colleagues were appalled I had eaten it raw, they clearly have not been converted to the joy that is the Bluff oyster.
I am not jumping for a chance at trying another, but the idea of the oyster festival in May has become a lot more appealing.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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