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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!


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The Irish Food Guide is...

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The Irish Food Guide Blog includes news, foodie chat, recipes, award results, links and other general information on the Food & Tourism Industry in Ireland.

It is written & curated by Zack C. Gallagher, Donegal Town, Co Donegal, Ireland.

“My Blog is a slice of the Irish Food ‘Network’. I’m a Chef with over 30 years experience and also have a background in media. I’m passionate about Irish Food Tourism and I believe that a rising tide really can lift all boats!”

Supporting Irish Food created by passionate producers and encouraging the Irish food & hospitality industry to use modern social media methods to increase their business.

Zack is building a Food Tourism Network, with food tourism partners all over the island of Ireland, to connect guests with artisan Irish food producers, so they can experience the provenance and personality behind our Irish food Visit