Menai Oysters

I had read on the web about Menai Oysters and we went in search of them down an unpromising driveway outside Dwyran.   They have oysters in big tanks under UV light and we were allowed to buy a dozen:-

We could have bought mussels from the stacks which were being shipped off to restaurants:-

We had fresh oysters for supper:-

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14 thoughts on “Menai Oysters

  1. Jeremy Fletcher says:

    I note that only 10 of the 12 oysters made it onto the plate in your photo. I can’t help wondering if this reflects your shucking skills or Chefs rights! Either way they look irresistible for an oyster lover. Interesting that they are now grown under UV light. Did you discover how long it takes to grow a “farmed” oyster? In NYC last week, I ate “line caught” sea bass from Kefalonia. As I know the Kefalonian waters very well, “line caught” means fishing out of a giant fish farm holding tank in the little coves where the fish farms are. Still tasted great. Given that we no longer expect to eat “wild” meat, I wonder if we really still care about “wild” fish.

    • Am being tested on my knowledge of oyster cultivation. From the website of Menai oysters, they are bought as seeds from hatcheries and then allowed to grow over a long period of time (between 2 and 3 years). The UV light is to prevent bacteria. I guess that means they’re farmed. But they seemed sufficiently delicious to me, perhaps just because they were so fresh. Turns out that there are two more still in the bag ! Charles

  2. I don’t know about farmed oysters, or mussels, but farmed salmon have a different and less firm texture than wild salmon, in my opinion. But I expect generally that Jeremy Fletcher is right that as consumers we no longer care so much about ‘wild’. Although that doesn’t apply to GM vegetables – home grown tomatoes, straight from the plant,such as Ailsa Craig, are totally different to commercial varieties like Moneymaker.

  3. Maurice Davies says:

    I had a funny conversation with one of the fish sellers at our local (ordinary) market. He was upset that he wasn’t allowed a stall at the fancier ‘farmers’ market. After all, he said, most of the fish I sell are farmed…

  4. The oysters are cultivated in bags in the sea for 2 to 3 years. They feed on whatever is in the water which gives them their flavour. The UV part is only used for 2 days prior to sale. This final process removes any nasties by allowing the oysters to purge themselves. The UV subsequently kills the nasties in the water and prevents the oysters reingesting.

  5. I think oysters were always farmed. Didn’t the Romans farm them in Colchester?Oyster beds are their fields where they grow and are then harvested. Your oysters and those grown commercially by the Prince of Wales are the less delicate Rock or Portugese oysters rather than the exquisite round flat Natives as enjoyed by the Walrus and the Carpenter. According to Private Eye the Rock oysters are invasive and are pushing out the Natives and HRH is profiting from an act of ecological vandalism.

    • Shaun Krijnen says:

      Native oysters were pushed out by overfishing, pollution and a disease called bonamia. The rocks were brought in in an attempt to keep oyster farming alive. They have a number of advantages to the grower over natives with growth time being the most useful. Their designation as a none native invasive species is a bit odd. Other none natives such as the quahog and Phillipine clam are exempt on the grounds of benefit to birds! There are many none native species in UK from barnacles to cats it just depends on who is writing the report as to what we like and what we don’t.

      • I realised after the long set of comments about different types of oysters that we obviously weren’t eating natives because August doesn’t have an r in it. Anyway I strongly recommend Menai oysters and we have just ordered three dozen more. Charles

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