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March 3rd, 2009
NZ: Bluff Oysters

The Bluff oyster season has recently opened in New Zealand, and oyster fans are clamoring for a taste of the new season’s oysters.

Bluff is a small coastal town at the bottom of the South Island. It is this town that the oysters take their name from, but they are also commonly known as flat oysters and are available in other parts of New Zealand. The actual Bluff oysters are taken from Foveaux Strait. Boats operate under a quota system to protect the oysters, and in past years pickings have been lean because of a bonamia parasite attack. Scientists report that this is a bumper year after a warm summer, and the oysters are fat and healthy.

Oysters are big business and increasingly expensive due to shortages in past years and transport costs. This year helicopters whisked them away to markets as soon as the boats reached the shore, which adds to the cost.

Most people eat them raw. They loosen the meat, tip the shell and let the oyster slide down their throat. You’re not meant to chew, merely swallow.

Pacific Oysters

This is a photo of farmed Pacific oysters, taken by moi. Mr. Munro and his brothers go on a day outing every Christmas so they have oysters for Christmas day. I’m not an oyster fan at all so I watch the drama of the Bluff season with bemusement. A raw oyster sends shudders of horror through me, although I’m quite happy to eat cooked oysters. I think they look like snot, and the taste is not much better. Probably more than you wanted to know! Mr. Munro usually humors me and cooks a few at Christmas, putting them under the grill with a tasty topping or making fritters. I can handle them cooked and think they’re quite tasty eaten that way!

Have you eaten oysters and do you like them?

10 comments to “NZ: Bluff Oysters”

  1. I have eaten raw oysters, on a dare, from my grandmother when I was 13. She paid me $20 to down two of those snotty things.

    Never again. LOL. Because yeah, SNOT or phelgm. Bleh. Plus, you can get so many illnesses from eating things raw. Hepatitis from oysters (I saw that on Dr. Quinn), to me, it’s not worth it. I think oysters and mussels are the only Fruits De Mer I won’t touch.

    I will eat clam in a chowder though.


  2. Hello Shelley, I can honestly say I will never in my lifetime eat an oyster. I agree with the snot comment. Plus, I can’t get past the thought of slim going down my throat. I won’t even eat them cooked. However, all other seafood is far game. Have a great day.


  3. I’ve eaten them raw, in some kind of butter sauce, and loved them (to the extent that plate after plate of them were ordered). But looking back on it, the enjoyment probably had more to do with atmosphere (beaches, summer time, dacquiries, and friends) rather than the oysters themselves. Even if I still ate meat, oysters aren’t the kind of thing you pick up at the store and take home for dinner or snacking.


  4. I have to say that I have eaten oysters, and can’t say I like them. But that may be because when I was small, my aunt made me eat them raw. And I said, ugh! That stayed with me. In all fairness, maybe I should give them another try.


  5. Amy – mussels. Yuck! Now that’s something I won’t touch at all. Mr. Munro loves mussels and eats them on a regular basis. NZ is famous for its mussels. The green-lipped ones are meant to be very good for you with all sorts of wonderful properties.

    Roberta – I totally agree. I eat a mainly vegetarian diet with a touch of seafood. Raw oysters are not on the menu.

    Jory – you know friends and drinks can be a terrible influence. :grin:

    Kaye – oysters are something you either love or hate. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground!


  6. I like oyster shooters. Cooked oysters are great, too.


  7. Jane – my hubby likes oyster shooters as well. They’re wasted on me. I tried one once, gagged and spat it out. Very graceful, it was.


  8. I don’t recall ever trying a raw oyster–that really seems gag-worthy. I’ve definitely had them cooked, usually with other stuff, and that seems fine. I wouldn’t consider them one of my favorite foods, but wouldn’t necessarily avoid them either… And that’s a whole lot of nothing I just said! ;p


  9. HAHAH! OMG. Snot describes the look of them exactly!

    No I haven’t ever tried them so really I shouldn’t comment, but the thought of putting something slimy and raw in my mouth and swallowing it just makes me GAG!!!


  10. Used to eat oysters years ago in Africa. I never really liked it. Maybe as an adult, I’ll like it. Who knows. There are a lot of foods I like today that I didn’t like as a kid.

    I had mussels (moules) a few years ago in Belgium. I discovered I loved them. A lot. ;-)

    Paz