Bluff Oysters – The Best Oysters In the World
Are you an oyster lover?
If you’re in NZ around April to July, you’ll be here for our Bluff oyster season. Bluff oysters are the best oysters in the world. They’re creamy and plump, an absolute delectable delight of the sea. They’re an absolute must-try while you’re in the country. They are grown slowly in the cold clean waters of the Foveaux Strait, near Bluff at the bottom of the South Island. In season, (March till about August) they are dredged by Bluffs oyster fleet in limited quantities. They’re also known as ‘Bluff’s Gold’ as they’re so precious, and priced as such.
You can only try Bluff oysters in New Zealand, which I think makes them even more special. Bluff oysters have been prohibited from export right since their beginnings in the 1860’s. Export can lead to heightened prices and the resource being depleted, so the decision was made that this fishery should belong to New Zealanders.
You can try them at restaurants (be ready to cough up the cash for them), or you can purchase a dozen in a tub from your local supermarket deli. When dining out, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to how you enjoy them. There will be battered, natural, and all the different accompaniments you can image… I implore you to taste them for the first time naturally, and simply with some lemon so you really taste them and get the flavor and texture.
Kiwis are so hooked on these bay boys that there is a whole festival dedicated to them! You do have to head to Bluff to go to it, however. It’s been on my list of things I’d like to do for years. Their motto? Unsophisticated and proud of it!
Here are my favorite restaurants in Auckland, Wellington, and Queenstown to indulge in these delicious morsels. They’re always best enjoyed on the waterfront with a sea view, so grab an outside table if you can:
The perfect start to an evening is nestled in a blanket outside, looking out over the picturesque New Zealand snow-capped landscape devouring local oysters with a bottle of bubbles.
I’ve been known to often grab a punnet from the deli, a lemon, and a bottle of bubbles (if you’re after a great local pairing I recommend Quartz Reef Methode Traditionnelle Brut from Queenstown), and enjoy on the deck before heading out for dinner or lunch.
Expect to pay approx $30 for half a dozen or $60 for a dozen at a restaurant, and around $30-$40 a dozen if you indulge from the deli.
Let me know what you think of them!