It’s commonly known there’s a link between romance and oysters. Some even believe a blood moon has romantic energies.
However, put Valentine’s Day, a super blood moon and the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show in the same fortnight and something extraordinary happens.
Tathra Oysters has again claimed champion oyster at the Sydney show along with multiple gold medals for their rock oysters grown in Nelsons Lagoon.
As well as having the four highest scoring entries out of more than 41 judged on the day, the Tathra business was also judged the champion oyster exhibitor of the show and awarded a gold medal for each entry.
It takes Tathra Oysters’ performance at the Fine Food Awards into uncharted territory. Only three times since 2001 the local business has not been named champion – and one of those years was because no producer was.
That’s in addition to multiple gold, silver and bronze medals every year.
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Owners of the family business Gary and Jo Rodely are this week celebrating the stunning result, adjusting their shopfront’s “oysterometer” to its highest “Gold Medal: Busting Fat” category.
“We’re always a bit hesitant to put it to the highest level until the Easter Show results are announced,” Mr Rodely said on Wednesday.
“But I think today we’re entitled.
“It's a great result, not only for us, but for the whole South Coast Sydney rock oyster industry with Wonboyn and Batemans Bay growers also getting gold medals, and silver and bronze medals going to other local growers in Wapengo, Merimbula and Pambula,” he said.
Other growers to have success at the show included Kel and Caroline Henry of Wonboyn Rock Oyster with a gold and silver; Wonboyn Wilderness Oysters of Kiah with a gold; Broadwater Oysters with three silvers; two silvers and a bronze for Shane Buckley and his Wapengo Rocks oysters; one silver and two bronze for Kingfisher Oysters of Bermagui; a silver and four bronze to Merimbula Gourmet Oysters; three bronze to Superior Oysters Merimbula; and Stirling Oysters of Nethercote a silver.
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“Confidence in the local oyster industry is at an all time high, demand is through the roof and new growing technology has meant mortality levels are way down and growth rates and oyster quality is way up! It's a great time to be an oyster farmer,” Mr Rodely said.
Recent huge tides triggered by the full moon had threatened to derail the Tathra Oysters entry this year.
“We actually had to harvest our entry a few days earlier than we would have liked as the oysters started to spawn under the full moon – they are very romantic creatures after all!” Mr Rodely joked.