46 South Fish Co. New Zealand Oysters tasting event at Long Table Distillery
Photos: 46 South Fish Co. New Zealand Oysters tasting event at Long Table Distillery
The oysters that 46 South Fish Co. has chosen to bring to our market are the Kaipara Oysters and the Tio Point Oysters. The Kaipara Oysters are the same genera as the Pacific Oysters and therefore the ideal way to compare how their merroir differs from that of our BC’s coastal varieties.
The Kaipara shells have deep cups and have a salty, creamy texture with hints of lemon and cucumber. They are grown in Kaipara Harbour in the northwest of the North Island where there is little human activity and exceptionally clean waters. Baskets are suspended on long lines that are exposed at low tide, allowing the waves from the afternoon sea breezes to tumble the oysters, giving them a deep cup and toughened shell.
The Tio Points are more like the French Belons and have a shallower shell with plump, firm meat and a salty sweet flavour with hints of minerality and a slightly metallic finish. They are grown in the Marlborough area and are native to New Zealand; in fact Tio means oyster in the native Maori language.
Where can you sip, slurp and sample these NZ gems on the West Coast? Currently our friends at Codfathers Seafood in Kelowna stocks them, in Vancouver you can pick them up from the Lobster Man in Granville Island, and in Toronto Diana’s Seafood Market. Vancouver’s Oyster Express brings them in frequently for those who prefer not to shuck at home and Rodneys in Toronto and Rodney’s Vancouver has them, and soon Rodney’s Calgary will have them on their menu. Don’t see them at your local seafood market or oyster bar? Feel free to put in a request with your server or fishmonger for next time. Mark Urwin from 46 South Fish Co. is keen to deliver.