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Thursday, 6 August 2009

The Best Kept secret in the Marlborough Sounds

Farmed Bluff Oysters in the Marlborough Sounds!!! These are one of the next big gourmet things to come out of Marlborough, and have been a 20 year project for Bruce Hearn, a long time mussel farmer from the region. Only just released onto the market, and in very limited numbers, we were lucky enough to try these and were not disappointed. This is a great product and deserves a place in the top five food products of the Marlborough region

Well done Bruce, you certainly give Bluff a run for its money, if you want to try they can be found at New- world Supermarket and Durville Hotel.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

The hard job of being a localvore

There was a acute awareness as I walked into Raupo Café to help shuck Marlborough Tio Point oysters before our slow food group arrived in a hours time that this was going to be a good night, I mean, lets just say that this is not something that happens every day, 20 Doz oysters in the shell, fresh from the Marlborough Sounds water and just waiting to be consumed.

The very fact that our host for the night, Bruce Hearn, has spent 20 years in the farming of these delectable’s was enough to know that the taste experience was going to be well worth it. Having met producers and sampled products from all around the world there can be no price put on the experience of eating unadulterated oysters from the shell (yes grit and all).

When in France we could go to the morning markets and buy live oysters (not a pottle in sight)stacked high in wicker baskets, from a dozen different costal locations and varieties, and these did not even come close to the experience of Marlborough Tio Point Oysters this night.

The key to any product is the freshness and the right amount of social contact that you have around it – and our slow food group were certainly not shy about learning all the highs and lows of farming one NZ’s most iconic Kai Moana products.

While I may not be the fastest Oyster shucker (yes the world record is 28 per minute), I was being distracted by the mandatory sampling of product that I had to do to ensure that our group of likeminded foodies where indeed getting the quality that we promised.

I can assure Bruce that even if the economic recession continued to hit our upmarket restaurants in Wellington and Auckland and they all closed tomorrow, we could rustle up enough Localvores in Marlborough to consume them all.

If you would like to try freshly shucked Tio Point Oyster you can purchase them from Hotel Durville and New-world supermarket but just make sure that you check in advance to ensure that they have not all been snapped up by other fresh oyster lovers.

Thanks to the local wineries who supported our event with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc to enjoy with the oysters: Te Whare Ra, Clos Henri, Seresin and Grove Mill.


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