Recently I had the pleasure of consulting an oyster expert, Patrick McMurray, Propreitor of Starfish and The Ceili Cottage as well as a prize-winning oyster shucker and author of Consider the Oyster – A Shucker’s Field Guide.
He has lots to say about oysters. And since we didn’t have enough space in the magazine for all of his suggestions, I thought I’d share them in a post. Here’s some of his tips for purchasing east and west coast oysters:
When buying oysters he suggests:
Find a reputable independent fishmonger or seafood restaurant that you know and trust and buy from them. Yes, often, even restaurants will sell to you. Just ask first and give them some time.
What to buy from east to west:
The Malpeque oyster is a name given to any oyster from PEI. You may have the opportunity to select the name brand of Malpeque oysters Raspberry Point would be most readily available out there. Another east coast name brand which is great is The Beausoleil – a New Brunswick oyster off of the Northumberland Straight, and is available at most supermarkets (they’re often available at Sobeys).
As far as the west coast goes, ask for BC beach oysters, such as Fanny Bay (most available at Sobeys, T&T, and independent fishmongers). Sometimes name brands are very difficult to nail down ‘ it all depends on where you live, and what the fishmonger knows and can get a hold of.
Thanks for all of the great tips Patrick!
Watch: Chatelaine Basics: How to shuck an oyster