Delightfully daring delicacy
A few seconds later it is all over; they have eaten their first Island oyster and have officially been “shucked in” as honoured members of the PEI Oyster Society. Laughter and cheers resound as someone calls out “I’ll need another one!”
The incredibly creative Oyster Society Restaurant Campaign is being brought back for a second year to encourage tourists and Islanders alike to sample the world-renowned oysters.
When oysters are ordered at any of the 30 participating restaurants, the guests are requested to say the oath and swear to eat PEI oysters for the rest of their days. After completing this sacred rite of passage, known as being “shucked in” the guests are then invited to share their experience online for a chance to win a variety of prizes.
Ann Worth, executive director of the Prince Edward Island Aquaculture Alliance, says the campaign successfully gets people invested in the oyster industry because “There is no better way to get excited about something than to do it”.
Jim Larkin, owner of Lobster on the Wharf, praises the campaign’s ability to make ordering oysters entertaining and fun. He says, “Anything that enhances the entertainment of the experience, they love”.
Jared Flemming of Fishbones Oyster Bar & Seafood Grill agrees and adds that he notices his customers “are much more likely to try them during the campaign”.
Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Rural Development Minister Ron MacKinley attributes the success of last year’s campaign to the partnership between aquaculture and tourism. “More than one million tourists come to the Island every year, and if every tourist had just one oyster, that would make a huge difference,” he says.
For more information about participating restaurants, visit http://www.peioystersociety.ca.
Grab an oyster, gather up some courage, and slurp away to be “shucked in” this August.