Cape Breton- Bras D`Or
The immense saltwater Bras D’Or Lakes nearly turn Cape Breton Island into a donut shape, with them as the donut hole. The channel to the sea is small, but the lakes aren’t fed by any sizable rivers, so the oysters stay brinier than you might think. Other than brine, they are very light in body—a quintessential Maritime oyster. Chances are your Bras D’Or oysters will be from Alba Oyster Farm, where Melissa and Bill Maclean collect their own wild spat in May and grow the seed oysters for a full year in floating trays, near the surface in summer and down below the ice that covers the lakes the other half of the year. The oysters are gently placed on the bottom of the lakes, where they spend three more years slowly marinating in the Atlantic brine.
Nova Scotia - Black Point Oysters
Grown in the pristine bays of Pictou County in northern Nova Scotia, this hand picked oyster is known for it's sweet and plump meat, and a distinctly salty finish. A true taste of the sea!
Nova Scotia – Sober Island Oysters
As the resident osprey flies, Sober Island looks like an offering from Mother Nature to the Spirit of the oyster. Located on the outskirt of the garland of islands adorning the Atlantic Coast of eastern Nova Scotia, Sober Island cradles a unique body of water on three sides, protecting it from cold winds and violent waves. A gently curved bar of pebbles and sand protects the entrance on the southwest. Twice a day, tides bring fresh sea water and food to the oysters giving them a distinctive saltiness and ocean after taste.
Three generations of a local family join their knowledge of this special place and their resources to grow this oyster in suspension near the water surface where food is most abundant. Its clean hard shell and gentle cup are your first clue to the treat inside. A plump, pearly colored oyster nests gently in a hard white shell. The crisp meat is a joy in itself. It first delivers a light, creamy sweetness against a backdrop of sea salt. The Sober island oyster brings you distinctive, clean after taste. Some connoisseurs find butter, seaweed or spices in its finish...depends on what you may be drinking, perhaps. We hope that you enjoy this nugget of an oyster as much as we enjoy growing it for you.
New Brunswick –Beausoleil Oysters
Beausoleils are farmed in three bays of northern New Brunswick: Shippagan, Néguac, and Richibuctou. Basically, they are suspended Caraquets, never touching the sea floor. In fact, Maison Beausoleil collects the seed from the wild waters, so some Beausoleil oysters are indeed Caraquets by birth. Half the year they grow in floating bags near the surface, enjoying as much warmth and food as the Canadian coast has to offer. When Canada’s dark winter sets in, they are suspended in deeper waters to ride out the ice. Because of their carefully controlled, uncrowded environment, Beausoleil shells are always perfect. Not big—it still takes them four years to reach a 2.5-inch cocktail size—but well groomed, and so uniform they almost look stamped out by machine. The white shells have a classy black crescent. The flavor is refined and light, like a Caraquet, but with a bit more brine, and something of the yeasty warm-bread aroma you get with good Champagne. This makes them the perfect starter oyster. If I had a novice oyster eater in my care and wanted to guarantee a successful first experience, I’d order a dozen Beausoleils.
Prince Edward Island - Malpeque
Malpeques have taken the world by storm in the past twenty years, and now rival Bluepoints as most common restaurant oyster, partly because they are affordable. As such, they have been great ambassadors, convincing many a diner that oysters were more exciting than she’d realized. They are good transitional oysters, bigger and bolder than Beausoleils or Kusshis, but still light-bodied and clean on the finish. Easy to eat, with the perfect balance of sweetness, brine, and pickle-like liveliness, they make great accompaniments to a pint of lager.
Prince Edward Island - Rocky Bay Oysters
There are many ways to produce oysters and each method has its advantages. We have chosen the method that most replicates Mother Nature and has withstood the test of time. Oysters have been around for millions of years and we feel we are the current caretakers of this precious renewable resource. Seeds, the size of a dime, are placed on the ocean bed where constant exposure to tides results in the formation of a thick deep cupped shell, a big plus in the oyster world. Here they will stay for anywhere from 3 -5 years until they are ready to be harvested – it is a slow natural process, unchanged by us and free of man made materials. Because of the way we grow our oysters, it allows them to survive up to 3 weeks out of the water – they’ve endured the constant exposure to tides and have thick shells. The oyster inside the shell can survive on its own liquor and when refrigerated, it will hibernate as it does in winter. Other methods may make for a shorter growing period but these often result in a thinner and much more fragile shell. Once ready, our oysters are harvested the way they were a hundred years ago. Brian and Erskine and our employees set out in small oyster dories with tongs and crates to collect them. After they return with their catch, the oysters are graded by hand and each is inspected. They go through a cleaning process and are then packaged, ready for shipping to our customers across North America and Europe. Our oysters are enjoyed in the finer restaurants of New York, London, Toronto and all places in between.