The Importance of Being (Buying) Local
Oysters are all about “provenance” – where they are from – because the very essence of an oyster reflects the place in which it was grown. The shape, the colours of the shell, even the colour of the flesh itself are influenced by where and how it was grown. Most importantly of all, an oyster will take on the character of the waters in which it was grown and reflect it back in the complexity of flavours that we enjoy when we eat them – this has come to be known as the “merroir”.
Every oyster bed has a unique merroir reflecting the ocean and land around it in a subtle combination of flavours and colours derived from microalgae, plankton and minerals in their waters. The merroir changes throughout the year mirroring the shifts in the season and the subtle changes in the environment.
Our oysters are farmed where clean Atlantic waters flood into the Cleddau Estuary. Here oceanic water mixes with the waters running from the Preseli Mountains, through moorland, countryside, seagrass beds and estuary. These bring food and nutrients that feed our oysters and produce the complexity of flavours that they are becoming renowned for.
If you are buying oysters, your first question to the fishmonger or waiter really should be “Where are they from?”
Local oysters will invariably be fresher than oysters transported from far afield – our oysters are supplied to restaurants straight out of the water, which is obvious when you open and eat them.
Atlantic Edge Oysters can be enjoyed in restaurants around Pembrokeshire year-round.
Provenance is everything when eating oysters, know where they are from and experience it. (Photo Dai Williams)