Closed on August 3, and “What’s a Kaipara Oyster?”
We’re closed August 3. That’s a Monday. “Civic Holiday.” Unimaginatively named.
As we slip into High Summer, we start to see “Spat,” that reproductive character, come onto our Oysters. Spat gives an Oyster a softer and creamier texture, and a slightly nutty finish. Nothing inherently wrong with it (in fact, some of our customers love a nice creamy Oyster), but we prefer our Oysters without. So in July and August we reach across the Pacific to New Zealand, in the other hemisphere. Where it’s winter. In New Zealand we find the Kaipara Oyster.
We love a winter Oyster. The fats are white and plump; the Oyster is crisp, fresh and briney. There’s none of that reproductive character we see in the North at this time of year – this Oyster’s done its parental duty and is moving on to other, Oyster-y pursuits. Fattening up and surviving the season.
Kaipara’s come from NZ’s North Island – there’s a little more info about it here. It’s a gigas, or Pacific species (this type of Oyster is grown around the world, prized by farmers because it grows more quickly than other species). We get it from a lovely chap named Mark, who runs this company. You can’t get your Marina’s Top Drawer or Kusshi right now (well, you can, but they’re not as good as they will be later in the year), but the Kaipara shines. What an Oyster! Come down and eat some with us.