The Knysna Oyster Festival : Day 1

So the Oyster Festival was a total freaking hit. I am so glad that The Bird and I finally got our asses into gear and made our way upto the beautiful town of Knysna. This is the first time that I have ever taken the time to explore the town, and really get stuck in. I spent a lot of my teenage years getting to know Plett, intimately. Knysna was never really high up on my list of things to do!. Unfortunately we were only able to shoot up for a few days but we will certainly be back to explore all the parts of town and the trail that we did not get to dig our claws into.

Our weekend kicked off, in grand fashion, with an oyster tasting like none other. The guys over at Tapas and Oysters in Thesen island really spoiled a couple of us bloggers rotten, showered us in bubbly and layed on a spread of oysters like I have never seen before. You can imagine my terror as I approached said spread, I am still recovering from my last (and only) Oyster eating experience. There I was, sitting on the little picnic table, everyone was looking at me, someone even suggested we video my first attempt – who knows, I could have become the next YouTube sensation?!  I freed the very juicy looking morsel from it’s terribly wild looking shell, added a crush of salt and pepper and knocked that scarey looking, what am I doing, oooh this is gross, no it is actually delicious and refreshing and juicy, oh my lord, what have I been missing my whole life- Oyster back!
oyster_6oyster7Post revelation, I learned some oyster related stuff. There are 2 kinds of Oysters in Knysna, the Cultivated Oyster and the Wild Oyster. The cultivated oyster (right) is farmed, in part, in the Knysna Estuary and then there is the Wild Oyster (left) which grows wild and free along the Knysna Coast line – Personally, I think it looks like they are grown on set of “Where the Wild things are.”. I really enjoyed the cultivated oyster, I found the flavour had a little more depth than its wild friend. I am certainly going to go back next year and just double check that this is how I feel.
oysters10This is the outrageous spread that Tapas and Oysters laid on for us, we literally tried oysters done every single way possible!

After tasting the various types of oysters Au Naturel, we were introduced to the dressier kind. We tried fresh oysters 4 ways, with Mango Coriander Salsa, Vodka Caramelized Onion, Fresh Tomato & Onion and Kiwi and Litchi Salsa. Although I enjoyed these snazzier bites (the tomato one was my favourite), my firm favourite still has to be the Birthday Suit oyster. Nothing beats the simple, juicy flavour. I find that dressing them up almost destroys the delicate flavour gifted to us by the sea.

This year, Tapas and Pysters was lucky enough to be crowned, winner of the  Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna. Our Final oyster of the tasting was their pride and joy, the winning flavour of Knysna, and what a beauty it was. I highly recommend you take a drive out there next time you are in the area and order this winner. Maybe order a couple. You will find Tapas and Oysters at Thesen Harbour Town, Thesen Island, Knysna.


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