Frequently asked questions.
Are they farmed or wild?
Flaggy shore Oysters and Dainty Oysters are a farmed or cultivated oyster. Latin name Crassostrea Gigas or commonly known as a pacific Oyster.
What is the difference between farmed and wild?
They are a different oyster species, for the most part its how they breed. The farmed oyster fertilizes externally, the wild or native ( ostrea edulis) the female fertilises the eggs internally and releases them into the wild.
I heard oysters can change sex- is this true?
Yes – over the life the oyster can change sex.
Which is which?
We don’t know! From the outside you cannot tell, when you shuck (open an oyster) you cannot tell – you need to dissect and observe the gonads under microscope…. We leave it to the scientists and marine biologists, we just know we like them!
Is it true they are an aphrodisiac?
You can tell us after you’ve tried them!!
What is to shuck ?
To shuck is to open the oyster.
How long does it take oysters to grow?
anything from 18 months to 3 years for market size
What is the difference between a flaggy shore oyster and a dainty oyster?
A dainty oyster refers to the size, a name we coined a few years ago – think dainty in size, but meaty! it fits daintily in a ladies hand! It is usually 45-65gr in weight. These are our speciality, they are younger about 18 month old and often have a sweeter flavour.
A regular flaggy shore oyster is from 65gr on wards, so a #3 grade is 65-85gr and a #2 is 85-110gr.
Where is your oyster farm?
We do not farm the oysters ourselves but work with a number of local oyster farmers, we take them into our holding tank facility whereby we pump in grade A water into 60 year old holding tanks and get them ready for market.
How long is the shelf life?
10 days from the day we take them out of the water and pack them.
How do I care for them?
When you receive oysters, it is important to care for them correctly ( they are live animals after all!!) Keep them chilled, ideally 4° C degrees. Anything below 4 is too cold, anything above 10 (out of water) for any length of time is too warm.
That said, often in the water it can be up to 16° /17° degrees during summer months and although not absolutely loving it, at this temp they are quite happy – as long as in the sea… out of the sea – they prefer chilled! Keep them in the bottom of the fridge. If it’s cold outside, but not freezing – you can store them outside 😉
When do you ship?
For Irish orders, we ship on a Wednesday for arrival Thursday.
For mainland Europe; we ship on a Monday for arrival on Wednesday or Thursday.
If I receive on Thursday will they be OK for the weekend?
Yes, no problem, as long as you keep them in the fridge. There will be a 10 day shelf life on them from day of packing.
How do you ship?
We ship with Courier service. The oysters are packed in a wooden basket, with the cup side down so they do not leak, there is seaweed and shucking instructions on top. We can also ship with an oyster knife If you need.
During the summer months or warmer weather, they will be shipped with an ice pack, in the cooler months they just contain the seaweed.
How much does shipping cost?
Within Ireland €8.50, UK and Mainland Europe €25
Do I need to have someone wait for the courier?
The courier should message you on the day with an estimate of arrival time.
When do the tours take place?
Monday – Friday @ 2pm , Saturday @12pm, Sundays on request.
Where do they occur?
In our dispatch facility , the red building on the pier in New Quay, Burrin Co. Clare
Is it weather or tide dependent?
NO, All tours take place indoors
1 ½ hours approx.
Will we be on a boat?
No, dry land!
What do I wear? We know you guys want to know 😉
Comfy clothes, bring a jacket in winter, you will be in doors for the duration but it has large tanks with water and the building can be cold in winter. We do have a heater and blankets to make you more comfortable but wear warm clothes just for your own comfort.
In these Covid times, bring your face mask, for the instructional part.
Do I need wellies?
No, but we also suggest do not wear high heels!!
Think comfortable and practical!!
Can I really eat all the oysters I want?
You can but you’ll be shucking them!!
Do you have cooked oysters?
No, all oysters are raw, but there a variety of dressings and toppings, but no oysters will get the heat factor!
What’s involved in the tour?
A history of the area, the business, an introduction into our local marine life, the biology of oysters, lesson on how they are farmed, a shucking masterclass, and then you chill and relax to shuck your own oysters , all you can eat paired with a glass of specially selected wine!
Are tours still going ahead?
Yes but in reduced numbers. The max we can take is 12 unless all one group / unit.
You are seated at long tables with 2 metres between on end and the other.
We ask you to sanitise your hands on arrival, ( sanitiser provided) we also ask you to wear a mask for the first part while the workshop is taking place and then can be removed once sitting and eating.