2018 Oyster Season Begins In Bluff

Oyster Season Begins in Bluff

An annual tradition kicks off in New Zealand

The first oyster haul of the season has arrived in Bluff, a small seaport town in the southernmost region of New Zealand famous for its eponymous shellfish.

Ship it Dianne Manson/Getty Images Ship it Kicking off on March 1, oyster season in Bluff (population: 1,850) typically runs until about August. Original Recipe Dianne Manson/Getty Images Original Recipe True Bluff oysters are grown slowly in the ice-cold waters of the Foveaux Strait. They're larger than most and are considered to be some of the best in the world, prized for their intensely rich and juicy flavors. Hot Commodity Dianne Manson/Getty Images Hot Commodity With limited quantities available — roughly 10 million are hauled in each year — Bluff oysters have become a renowned national delicacy in New Zealand, with visitors swarming into the tiny town from all over the country. The Name Game Dianne Manson/Getty Images The Name Game While this specific shellfish is most commonly known as a Bluff oyster, it goes by other monikers like mud oyster, flat oyster, dredge oyster, Foveaux Strait oyster and deep water oyster. Party Time Dianne Manson/Getty Images Party Time The Bluff Oyster and Food Festival typically hits the salty seaside town in late May, where taste buds are tempted with a variety of seafood and local fare. Last year’s festivities featured over a dozen vendors, with food ranging from marinated fish and oyster soups and pies, to stuffed muttonbirds, hot chips, venison burgers and more. The highlight, of course, is always the local Bluff oyster.