NATURAL SEA BEDS
We produce different varieties of oysters, all in natural sea beds. With over 200 acres of ocean that we lease from the Federal Department of Fisheries, we are one of the leading producers of quality oysters in Atlantic Canada. We tend our oyster beds year round and harvest 11 months of the year. We watch over our oysters daily - this means ensuring the beds are clear of weeds, silt or natural predators. In winter, Brian and Erskine enjoy taking snowmobiles across the frozen cove where their chainsaws cut grids in the ice so that the oysters can be harvested. The flavour of the oyster at this time of the year is particularly salty because the ice concentrates the salinity of the cove.
REPLICATING MOTHER NATURE
There are many ways to produce oysters and each method has its advantages. We have chosen the method that most replicates Mother Nature and has withstood the test of time. Oysters have been around for millions of years and we feel we are the current caretakers of this precious renewable resource. Seeds, the size of a dime, are placed on the ocean bed where constant exposure to tides results in the formation of a thick deep cupped shell, a big plus in the oyster world. Here they will stay for anywhere from 3 -5 years until they are ready to be harvested - it is a slow natural process, unchanged by us and free of man made materials. Because of the way we grow our oysters, it allows them to survive up to 3 weeks out of the water - they’ve endured the constant exposure to tides and have thick shells. The oyster inside the shell can survive on its own liquor and when refrigerated, it will hibernate as it does in winter.
Other methods may make for a shorter growing period but these often result in a thinner and much more fragile shell. Once ready, our oysters are harvested the way they were a hundred years ago. Brian and Erskine and our employees set out in small oyster dories with tongs and crates to collect them. After they return with their catch, the oysters are graded by hand and each is inspected. They go through a cleaning process and are then packaged, ready for shipping to our customers across North America and Europe. Our oysters are enjoyed in the finer restaurants of New York, London, Toronto and all places in between.
Our cold Atlantic waters produce an exceptional oyster - our oysters have a brighter more briny flavour, perfect for the “raw oyster” lover. Salutation Cove oysters are very delicate in nature, very salty with a sweet crisp finish that leaves your mouth feeling clean and refreshed - truly a “boutique” oyster. Because of the environment and composition of the waters in which they grow, the flavour of our oysters will vary both in nuances and salinity. The nutrients in the water and their particular flavours constantly flow over the meat and the more nutrients in the water, the plumper the flesh and the more flavourful the oyster. We monitor and test our water constantly to ensure we have the perfect growing conditions.
SAFETY AND QUALITY
In 2007, we constructed a new state of the art processing and packaging facility. As a federally registered shellfish processing plant, we have implemented an internationally recognized in-plant food safety and quality control program. All shellfish companies in Canada are governed by the CFIA (Canada Food Inspection Agency) and because Canada meets the strict standards and criteria of the US FDA National Shellfish Sanitation Program, we are one of only three countries in the world that are presently approved to export live shellfish to the U.S.
The completion of this new plant has allowed us to expand and become one of the major suppliers to the American market. In addition to our own oyster stocks, we also source and process oysters from New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy Lockhard Lake, from various oyster fishers along the North Shore of Nova Scotia including Malagash, Tatamagouche and Fox Harbour as well as from local Prince Edward Island oyster fishers.
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