The oysters of Ston
The oysters of Ston
The eastern part of the Pelješac Peninsula, namely the Ston municipality, is an area known for growing mussels and European flat oysters of superior quality. Historical records show that European flat oysters have been farmed in the area since the 17th century, but their harvesting began a whole century earlier, and they have been a delicacy since ancient Roman times. The Bay of Mali Ston has proven to be especially suitable for growing this delicious clam because of the freshwater river Neretva that flows into the sea, and the frequent winter rains, which create ideal conditions for their growth. European flat oysters should be harvested in March, as these prized clams are meatiest during this period. This is also the time when the town of Mali Ston holds the Oyster Day Festival ( Dani malostonske kamenice) with the aim of promoting these molluscs. The festival includes oyster tastings, fine wine and good entertainment for the locals and all of the tourists, who are growing in number.
Fresh clams should be shucked over a bowl and opened carefully so as not to spill the salty juice inside them. Each oyster should be held tightly with a cloth and the tip of a knife should be inserted between the two parts of the shell. Twist the knife to separate the two parts and open it. The flesh is cut out, the flat part of the shell is thrown away, after which the flesh is returned to the domed part of the shell, with juice from the clam sprinkled over it.
Oysters can be barbecued, fried, roasted with cheese in the oven, added to various soups and stews together with other molluscs, made in a sauce for pasta or risotto...
But ultimately, they are best when eaten raw and delicate, served on ice with a few drops of lemon juice. Oysters are commonly served in groups of six or twelve, and they pair well with both red and white wines. When served with a chilled sparkling wine, they offer a truly special gastronomical experience. Many consider oysters to be a natural aphrodisiac, which is one of the reasons behind their popularity.