Morrisons Morecambe is to sell fresh British Pacific Oysters for just 25p each in the run up to Valentine’s Day.
The supermarket’s oyster price is believed to be the lowest retail price in the UK for 25 years.
Currently, oysters can sell for over £5 each in Harrods and Selfridges food hall oyster bars, twenty times the price of Morrisons oysters.
Recent research by Morrisons has identified that nearly two thirds of Brits have never eaten an oyster, even though 2,300 tonnes will be harvested in Britain this year.
Fifty per cent of Britain’s oyster harvest is now exported to the continent every 12 months.
Doug Lakeland, general manager at Morrisons Morecambe said: “We want to make oysters completely affordable and available for everyone in Morecambe to try. Each of our Pacific Oysters cost little more than a fish finger to buy. And if anyone is uncertain on how to serve and eat them, then just ask one of our store’s fishmongers – who are experts on oyster preparation and cooking and who will be on hand to help!”
Morrisons will be stocking live Pacific Oysters, which are cultivated on the West Coast of Scotland and Ireland. Each oyster will weigh approximately 60g.
They will be available in all stores as a six-pack in the fresh fish section, and as single oysters in stores with stand-alone fish counters.
Morrisons fishmongers can shuck and prepare individual oysters, should customers so wish.
The shellfish will be sold at 25p for one week by the retailer in the run up to Valentine’s Day - from Monday February 8 until Sunday February 14.
It is expected that the product, a known aphrodisiac, will be bought by couples wishing to prepare a romantic dinner for a night in.
The Morrisons research also revealed that 25 per cent of people said they’d never tried an oyster due to the perceived ‘expensive’ price, with 44 per cent saying they didn’t want to waste money on something they may not like. In addition, a fifth of people thought they’d never shopped anywhere that sold them.
Did you know:
· Oysters are British born and bred. They are found in fisheries all around Britain, including west Scotland and Ireland, Essex, Kent, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and the Channel Islands.
· 50 per cent of Britain’s oysters are now exported abroad to the continent.
· Each coastal region produces a slightly different taste and texture of oyster. http://www.shellfish.org.uk/files/Healthy-Eating/6723SAGB%20oyster%20guide%20final4.pdf
· Oysters are healthy, being low in cholesterol and rich in essential nutrients such as polyunsaturated fats and zinc. http://shellfish.org.uk/files/Healthy-Eating/23063SAGB%20oyster%20factsheet%20final.pdf
· Oysters filter the sea water, passing about 30-50 gallons of water flow though their shells per day.
· Not all oysters make pearls, only seven Pinctada species can create them.
· The Romans imported oysters by boat direct from England to Italy and Roman Emperors paid for them by their weight in gold.
· It is said that Henry IV liked to consume 300 oysters as an appetizer and that Casanova reportedly consumed 50-60 oysters a day with his evening punch.
· In the 1800s oysters used to be a peasant dish.
· It is thought that the most expensive oysters in the world, which cost AUD$100 each, are from Coffin Bay, Australia.
· The Guinness World Record for the most oysters eaten in 3 minutes is 233.
· Always chew an oyster to release its full flavour.
· You can chuck oyster shells on your garden - their calcium element will fertilise plants and help your garden to grow!
Oysters have tender and smooth meat with a unique delicate flavour of the sea.
They go well with Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat and Chardonnay wines, plus stout, IPA or lager.
Always cook your oyster before eating it. Oysters can be grilled, poached, baked, deep fried tempura-style or even added to pies or pasta. Classic oyster recipes include:
· Angels on horseback: shuck the oyster, wrap in streaky bacon, secure with a cocktail stick and bake in the oven.
· Oysters Rockefeller: shuck the oyster, spoon diced onion, spinach and parsley (cooked in butter) on top of the open oyster, top with breadcrumbs, then bake.