Fal Oysters PDO 2013 The oyster beds in the Fal were originally seeded by the Romans, that’s one hell of a pedigree. The combination of river, land and sea give the Oysters a sweet creaminess with a hint of copper tang. To quote aficionados, melon, lettuce and cucumber undertones. They say you can tell by the taste whether the were picked on the ebb or flow tide.
As this is a natural wild fishery the rules have to be strict. The beds are uncultured and breeding occurs naturally. To ensure the Spatfall of young oysters have chance to grow the beds are sometimes harrowed to break up the the cultch.Fisherman are allowed to motor or sail to the beds once there the engines must be switched of allowing the boats to drift on the wind and tide.
The Oyster season runs from 1st Oct to the 31st March. They’re allowed to dredge between 9am and 3pm Monday to Friday and 9am and 1pm Saturday but only by hand, no mechanical winches allowed. This is pretty much how it was 250 years ago. As the Oysters are wild stock size can fluctuate and a minimum size of 67mm is set for harvesting.
The men and women who now work these fishing grounds have earned their reputation for selling a wonderful sea food and they intend to keep it that way. It must be one of the greenest fishing fleets in the world. In 2013 the Fal Oyster was awarded the PDO status, Protected Designation of Origin.
October 8th to 11th sees the Fal Oyster Festival to celebrate the start of the fishing season. There’s daily cooking competitions, Cornish beer to be tried, live music and more than a few Fal Oysters on offer. I’m looking forward to.
Festival here. falmouthoysterfestival