September 2nd presents as a special day for Australia's Oyster Coast as James Milner (Farm manager AOC Bermagui) and his small team had their first official harvest. Introducing the Bermagui Rock .
Fed by the nutrient-rich freshwater run off from surrounding forests and nature reserves, Bermagui rock oysters thrive in a shallow wave dominated barrier estuary lined with thick mangroves.
The clear, fresh river benefits from a high tidal flow from the ocean meaning the estuary water is flushed out twice a day delivering an essential saltwater exchange. This process gives the rock oysters a unique balance of sweet and briny characteristics.
Bermagui rock oysters have three distinct flavours depending where they are grown in the river. Those at the back of the river are much sweeter; those near the mangroves are bursting with umami while the oysters nearer the ocean bestowing higher levels of brine.
The differing seabed conditions from silty, rocky, to sandy, muddy and seaweed-rich all play a role in creating the eating qualities of this amazing filter feeder.
It results in an oyster with high levels of brine and creaminess, underpinned by moderate sweetness and a lasting umami.