Walk out to sea during low tide at Grouville and you can’t fail to notice the largest oyster farm in the British Isles.
Occupying around 35 hectares of the seabed, rows and rows of neatly growing oysters resemble vineyards stretching along the coast with the majestic castle of Mont Orgueil in the background, one could be forgiven for thinking you were standing in the Loire Valley.
Oysters have been farmed before in Jersey in the 1800s until over-fishing destroyed the industry, it was resurrected in the late seventies and has been expanding ever since. Currently over 700 tons of oysters are exported, the majority of which go to the French market.
Now the three main oyster farmers, Jersey Oyster Co, Seymour Oysters and Jersey Sea Farms have together become the first in the world to gain accreditation from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council. This new premier status means that at long last Jersey Oysters will get the recognition that they deserve and can be proud of another Jersey product farmed responsibly.
This is the recipe for my favourite way of eating Oysters.
- a dozen oysters
- 125ml champagne
- 1 shallot, finely grated
- 125ml double cream
- salt & pepper
- juice of half a lime
- 3 tblsp butter
- Remove the oysters from their shell, set both aside. Pour champagne into a small frying pan and bring to the boil. Add leek and oysters and stir for 30 seconds. Remove oysters.
- Add the cream to the pan and bring to the boil. Gradually add salt, pepper, lime juice and butter, stirring continously. Return the oysters to the pan until they are just heated through.
- Fill each oyster shell with one oyster and sauce. Serve with lime wedges on a bed of crushed ice with a crusty bread.