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The oyster lover’s oyster
September is another great month in the British food calendar – the month we celebrate our native oyster season. The native is the oyster lover’s oyster, a whole different kettle of fish to the more common rock oyster. It’s rounder and flatter and slower growing, hence the more intense flavour, with strong notes of iron and minerals.
You may end up paying twice as much for natives over rocks, but it’s worth ordering both to get an idea of the difference. All of our oysters from the many oyster fisheries around the coast will have different flavour profiles depending on where they are grown, rather like the terroir in wine making.
On 16 September we’re hosting a mini oyster festival at Hix Oyster and Chop House, where a host of oyster growers, suppliers and chefs will be shucking, talking, drinking and sharing their knowledge, so come along and celebrate with us. Here are a couple of simple dressings to serve with oysters, although I do advocate eating natives just as they are.