I imagine that your New Year’s Eve preparations are underway, that you’re in the middle of turkey, capon, races and salmon. So I figured a little window escape wouldn’t hurt, just to recharge your batteries before Thursday’s big raout. So I’m taking you today to … Australia !
Greenwell Point is located in New South Wales.
You’ll tell me so much!
Yes, I know 🙂
New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, lies south of Sydney. Roughly at the bottom right of theAustralia. And Greenwell Point is located about 200 km south of Sydney on the coast called the Greenwell Coast. oyster coasts, the oyster coast.
We are here in the oyster paradise. Finally rather to be completely honest, especially in the paradise of those who eat them.
In short, after having recently taken you to the basin of Arcachon to meet a local oyster farmer, this time, we leave to Jim Wild’s oyster farm.
Jim Wild, you can’t miss him. Between his ultra colorful shirts, his big moustache and his thundering voice, he’s a real show-off.
He started his business and in 1984 won the World Oyster Opening Championships in Galway, Ireland which I attended a few years ago.
The place is enchanting, judge for yourself:
In Australia, oyster farming is practiced in deep waters and adequate equipment is essential to immerse the traps and remove them.
I asked Jim to tell us a little bit more about the Australian oysters :
Here in France, we have several varieties of oysters but can you tell us about Australian oysters. How many varieties exist ?
- Then there is the Sydney Rock. They are the most famous. They are only found on the east side of the state of New South Wales and nowhere else in the world.
- There are also the Pacific Oysters. They are found in South Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland.
- Then there is the Blue Lip, in Queensland,
- And finally the Flat oyster and the Jervis Bay Oyster. The last 4 varieties are the least known.
Here we breed only Sydney Rocks and Pacific. We have 5 people working with us during the high season.
How is the breeding going? What are the main stages between birth and marketing? How long does it last?
When the oysters become fat and milky normally between February and May, they release the spawn, millions of baby oysters. 21 days after spawning they look for places to cling and grow. We then put plastic slats (like Venetian blinds) in the water. 12 months later, we take the baby oysters out of these slats and put them all in big cylinders, still made of plastic, so that they grow.
When they reach 4 cm (they are about 2 years old), they are laid flat on tables to finish growing (until they are 4 years old). They are then ready for sale.
When is the best time to eat oysters in Australia?
We consume them all year round but the best period is from September to May.
How do you prefer to taste them?
I like nature but also with a drop of Tabasco or pepper.
Thanks a lot Jim!
Jim Wild’s Oyster Service – 170 Greens Rd, Greenwell Point NSW 2540, Australia
A Facebook page: Jim Wild Oyster Service