Colchester Oyster Fishery
PRODUCER: Colchester Oyster Fishery, Colchester
PRODUCT: Pyefleet Pure Rock Oysters (Crassostrea gigas)
REGION: Eastern England
CATEGORY: From the Sea (Primary)
WHAT THEY DO
Colchester Oyster Fishery has been trading from Mersea Island since 1964. Connected to the mainland by a causeway that disappears underwater during spring tides, this site over looks Pyefleet Creek, which was fished for oysters by the Ancient Romans.
Today, the fishery delivers fresh rock oysters to top restaurants across the country six days a week. They’re devoted to getting the oyster-shy to forget their preconceptions and “give oysters a chance”, and to give lovers of the bivalves the best quality possible. To this end, the fishery have a developed a natural chemical-free process to ensure their Pyefleet Pure oysters are free of norovirus (which can cause gastroenteritis), verified by a UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accredited laboratory.
The oysters rest on a nutrient-rich seabed surrounded by marshes, an environment that the team believes gives the oysters their distinctive briny, sea-fresh flavour. The fishery are keen to maintain the wild oyster population in the river, and are currently working with the University of Essex to explore ways to regenerate the current low numbers. They say, “There is not much more we could be doing to help our oysters and we really do believe that they are worth every effort.”
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
The judges were impressed with the heritage of this product and the focus on locality, and also commended the company’s fair pricing.
VISIT THE WEBSITE: colchesteroysterfishery.com