It’s nearly time for one of South Africa’s favourite food events – the Knysna Oyster Festival which this year will run from 29 June to 8 July. Now in its 33rd year, this 10-day festival is billed as the best 10 days of your winter, and it’s easy to see why – there are more than 100 activities planned catering for sports lovers, families and adventurers; and it’s a chance to enjoy one of the most beautiful parts of South Africa’s coast line. And of course, topping the bill in nearly every eatery will be the famed oyster and other delicious Halaal fish dishes – admittedly not everyone’s cup of tea, the oyster is famed for being a great aphrodisiac, but what other interesting titbits are there to learn about this interesting seafood?
Oyster Fun Facts
- Oysters have the ability to change their sex – they start as males and usually end as females
- Legend holds that the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, emerged from the sea in an oyster shell
- Humans have been eating oysters since prehistoric times and have cultivated them at least since the time of the Roman Empire
- Eating four oysters a day gives you a complete daily supply of copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc
- Oysters are rich in vitamins A, C, D and B-12 – the latter is well-known to help people lose weight and sharpen their memory
- When oyster larvae (baby oysters) attach themselves to a hard material, like an oyster shell, they are called ‘spat’
- Wild and hatchery-raised oyster larvae prefer to attach to other oyster shells as they grow
- Oyster farms improve the health of nearby waterways by eating algae and filtering the water – they can filter 1.3 gallons of water per hour
- The same type of oyster tastes different depending on where it was raised
- There are five main oyster flavour characteristics – briny, buttery, sweet, metallic, and mild
- The Eastern or American Oyster can be found from Canada to Argentina and
- The pearls used in jewellery are produced in clams and mussels, not oysters as commonly believed
Regardless of whether you enjoy oysters or not, if you’re lucky enough to be going to the Knysna Oyster Festival, we wish you safe travels and a wonderful break – may you enjoy the most of what this beautiful Western Cape coastal town has to offer.