Donegal Bay Oysters & How I open an Oyster!

Ireland produces two types of Oysters: the “Native Oyster” also known as the flat oyster (Ostrea Edulis) which is harvested seasonally & the “Pacific Oyster”, also called Rock Oyster (Crassostrea Gigas) which is widely available all year round due to our cooler climate and is the one more commonly seen in restaurants.

Look at these beautiful, large, juicy fresh Rock Oysters – straight out of Donegal Bay from my friend Conor Reid’s Oyster Farm. Conor and his brother Damien, have been growing oysters in Donegal Bay for over 20 years. The company, Donegal Oysters Ltd., concentrates on producing ‘Speciale’ quality, the highest grade, only.

Oysters fresh from the Atlantic Ocean!

Water quality is pristine with the open Atlantic on one side mixing with the Donegal Town’s river Eske on the other. It is this natural combination which produces a full meat oyster with a unique taste of the untamed Atlantic and makes Donegal oysters one of the most sought-after brands in the whole of Europe!

The Reid family export over 400 tonnes of fresh Oysters every year! You can contact Conor Reid, Donegal Oyster Ltd. at

There has always been quite a lot of debate (among chefs especially) on the correct method to open an oyster. Most french or classically-trained chefs tend to open them from the side which works best with the flat oyster. The truth is, there is No correct way to open them – just are just personal preferred methods!

So for any of you who do not know…..

Here is how I open an Oyster!

1. Use an oyster knife or a small, thick, pointed (but blunt) knife.
2. Holding the oyster, flat side up, in a thick cloth to protect your hand – insert the knife at the hinge of the oyster.

3. Push and twist the knife so as to break the hinge open.

4. Slide the knife across the inside of the top shell.

Half way across the top shell cut the muscle attached to it.

Make the cut clean with your knife and discard the top shell.

5. Slide your knife under the oyster and cut the bottom muscle to loosen it completely from the shell

6. Turn the oyster over, to present the better side, for service
mmmmmm! Don’t forget the Lemon wedges!

Don’t forget to Feed the Fish at the bottom of this Post!


About - Zack Gallagher

Chef. Zack Gallagher. @IrishFoodGuide on Twitter. News about Food, Food Producers, Chefs and Irish Food Tourism, in Ireland. Food and Food Tourism Marketing at @IrishFoodTour. Irish Food Blogger and Journalist. Food Ambassador at @Failte_Ireland. Judge @BlasNahEireann Irish Food Awards #WildAtlanticWay
This entry was posted in,, News & Stuff, open oysters, oysters, recipe, seafood, shellfish. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Donegal Bay Oysters & How I open an Oyster!

  1. Here's a video guide to Shucking Oysters, courtesy of Donegal Good Food Taverns and Nancy's of Ardara.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.