Falmouth’s 15th Oyster Festival 12- 16 October
Originally food of the poor, who would scavenge for the potential pearl carriers among creeks and rivers, oysters are now synonymous with Viagra-like properties, champagne bars and at this time of year: Falmouth and Mylor.
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shucking and slurping to the tunes of local bands, foodie heaven
Events Square, Falmouth
The Falmouth Oyster Festival brings the oysters back to the people and encourages the people back to the oysters. Home to the world’s only stock of wild oyster beds, the Fal estuary is still fished entirely by traditional means of harvesting ie. men (we’re talking wind-beaten and ripped, ladies) and their boats.
And this calls for a bit of celebration: boat racing, cooking demos, stalls and famous chefs, not to mention plates full of the much coveted bivalve molluscs squirming under lemon juice, will all gather in and around Events Square Falmouth to mark the opening of the native oyster season.
The Fal Oyster is a unique product – smaller and more delicate than their Pacific cousins grown elsewhere – and ostensibly harbouring a superior taste. They are five years in the making and any under five centimetres are thrown back into the water to protect stocks. History, provenance, taste (and men in boats) combine to make this one of Cornwall’s most important native species, definitely to be celebrated.
Festival highlights …
12 October @7pm: pre-festival gourmet night hosted by festival sponsors St Michael’s Hotel and Spa
13 October @ 11am: Tim Anderson – this year’s MasterChef champion will open the oyster festivities with a cooking demo
14 October @11.45 – 12.45 Cooking demonstration from Paul Ripley of Rick Stein’s Seafood Bar
15 October @ 3pm Veuve Clicquot Oyster shucking competition
16 October @11am Falmouth Working Boat Race, Inner Harbour
Craft and food stalls open at 10am each day of the festival. Interwoven with the food demos and events are local bands, live shucking, live music, the ‘oysterman’ parade and thousands of delicious and succulent native oysters to be slurped and swallowed (one or two chews allowed but strictly no spitting). For more information on the festival go to www.falmouthoysterfestival.co.uk.