This jumbo Tasmanian oyster takes six years to grow

For many individuals, a go to to Hobart is incomplete with out tasting a couple of (or a number of dozen) Bruny Island oysters. There’s one thing particular concerning the Pacific oysters that are farmed on a small island south of Hobart; they’re plump and have a slight saltiness to them, virtually like you possibly can style the ocean.

You can discover them in eating places throughout Australia, or nearer to the supply each Saturday on the Salamanca Market. The stall is operated by husband and spouse Mark and Erin Paine. Seven years in the past, they purchased the longest-running oyster lease on Bruny Island, Lease 69 (which can also be the identify of their stall).

Their oyster farm is nestled in Great Bay, on the western aspect of the island. “Bruny Island is only accessible by boat and ferry,” Erin Paine tells SBS Food. “A lot of produce comes out [of] the island. You have everything from cheese to wine and oysters. Where we are, in Great Bay, it’s pretty much just pasture and bush, it’s not a built-up area. We have that clean environment with fresh water coming from the Antarctic so it’s a great environment for seafood.”

“We have that clear setting with recent water coming from the Antarctic so it’s an ideal setting for seafood.”

Taking over the enterprise was an entire profession change for the Paine household. Mark labored within the development business for 20 years, however all the time dreamed of proudly owning an oyster farm. He’s now on the water most days from 7 am, making certain that the oysters grow from spat (little infants) to the right measurement to eat. The buffet-size oysters, that are those you see in eating places, take about one and a half to two years to grow, whereas jumbo oysters can take up to virtually six years.

“There’s quite a bit of handling. It’s not just popping them into the water; they’re in baskets and racks, and when they reach a certain size you have to put them in bigger baskets. A lot of the grading is done by hand,” explains Erin.

She, herself, stays on land, taking good care of gross sales, administration and funds. Through their wholesale enterprise, Tasouth Oysters, they ship most inventory to fortunate Melbourne eating places.

Feeding guests on the Salamanca Market

A yr in the past, the couple determined to open a stall on the widespread Salamanca Market beneath the identify Lease 69. “We were missing that satisfaction of selling to the public,” explains Erin.

 “It’s a good opportunity to meet tourists and talk about our produce. Seeing them eating what we’ve worked so hard to achieve, seeing the satisfaction on their faces, that’s what makes us the happiest.”

Lease 69 retains issues easy by shucking the oysters on-site and serving them with lemon or Tabasco. “Fresh seafood is normally a really good way to get that taste of the environment it’s been grown in,” says Erin.

“We get locals comings and ordering four, five dozen when they’re having a party and we also have a lot of tourists. Raw seafood is hugely popular with the Asian market.”

A dozen of the shucked buffet-size oysters goes for round $20 and a dozen of the massive ones for $25. You may also get a jumbo oyster for $eight a pop or a buffet for $2 and a big for $three.

Tasouth oysters at Lease 69

For Erin, it’s clear that it’s the pristine environment of Bruny Island are what give the companies oysters their sought-after style.

“A lot of people say that when they try our oysters, they can taste that clean, fresh, salt water.”


Lease 69 sells oysters to the general public on the Salamanca Market, each Saturday, from eight:30 am to three pm. Tasouth Oysters solely does wholesale.

Ainsley Harriott visits Tasouth oysters throughout episode four of the brand-new season of Ainsley’s Australian Market Menu. Catch it at 7:30pm Thursday 31 October on SBS, make amends for SBS Food at 7:30pm Sundays, or stream on SBS On Demand (under). Visit the Market Menu website for recipes, the episode information and extra.

Love the story? Follow the writer right here: Instagram @audreybourget and Twitter @audreybourget

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