117 years ago, P.E.I.'s Malpeque was named the world's best oyster. Here's why
'The colder the water, the better the shellfish.'
At the 1900 Exposition Universelle, a world's fair in Paris, the Malpeque was named the best oyster in the world — and 117 years later little has changed.
The tasty mollusk gets its signature salty flavour from the ocean waters surrounding Prince Edward Island. In fact, P.E.I. is the only place in the world where the Malpeque oyster is cultivated. In 2015 alone, P.E.I. produced over 3,422 tons of oysters, valued at $12,820,000.
According to Raspberry Point Oysters manager James Power, it's the unique properties of the Atlantic coast that make the Malpeque so popular.
"P.E.I. has the best water. Just the right amount of salinity — there's no pollution. It's very clean. So that gives that really great clean salty flavour."
Power runs one of the island's biggest oyster farms, where, on the shores of Bayview, P.E.I., more than 10 million Malpeque oysters are cultivated every year. It takes about three to four years for the oysters to reach maturity. Once they are ready, they are sorted, washed and graded before being shipped around the world.
Join chef Ricardo Larrivée as he as explores one of Eastern Canada's most famous treats.