Beautiful Oysters from Limpid Sea KUNISAKI OYSTER｜Scenery Where Rich Japan is Created
Like Jewel of the Sea “KUNISAKI OYSTER”
“KUNISAKI OYSTER” was created by Kunisaki City, Oita in 2015 together with “YANMAR Marine Farm,”a marine products research and development facility of an industrial equipment manufacturer YANMAR, with the help of Japan Fisheries Cooperatives. This project is led by Mr. Genichi Kato, Head of “YANMAR Marine Farm,” who has been devoting himself to oysters over 30 years. “Perhaps I’m the man who has been looking at oysters the most in Japan,” he laughs.
n Japan, what is called as a “cultch type” is primarily used for culturing oysters. In this method, spats (baby oysters) are attached to scallop shells, and they are left to mature naturally after being put under water. In contrast, a “single seed method” is adopted here. Spats, which were created by research and development at the company, are fostered one by one separately until harvesting. Two different fisheries -- offshore spots and tideland are used in accordance to the situation of the sea and growing conditions of the oysters. Every time oysters are moved, they are washed and transferred to different baskets. This method requires a lot of work, but accordingly, enabled them to form fine cup-shaped shells, to keep them away from unnecessary adhered substances, and to make elegant and sweet taste without smelling of the sea and unfavorable flavor.
Furthermore, flawless safety care is ensured. The facility periodically examines whether food poisoning-causing bacteria such as Norovirus is kept lower than standard value in waters where farms are located, in collaboration with Oita Prefecture and Kunisaki City. All oysters confirmed to be lowered than the reference value is sent to an external inspection institute for examination after landing. Before then, the oysters are stored in a pool of clean seawater which is percolated through a filter finer than Norovirus.
Safety-verified-oysters are again moved into a different tank of further clearer seawater purified by ultraviolet germicidal equipment for about 20 hours. After completing all these processes, they are finally shipped out. In addition, seeds are produced in-house, and life history is being administered since their childhood. This thorough attitude is just unbelievable.
How does the longtime, carefully-taken-cared oyster taste?
When I opened a box of the oysters that I received, I was astonished by the fact that there was no strong-smelling peculiar to oysters at all and plump shapes were far more beautiful than my expectations. I shelled an oyster and put it into my mouth. Its clean taste and juicy texture felt by my teeth amazed me again. And then, the umami flavor and sweet taste gently exploded in my mouth.
Small and beautiful shape, pure taste without unpleasant flavor, full quality control, and almost no bad contents in the shells such that oysters are uniformly contained in the shells. These features of “KUNISAKI OYSTER” not only stretch the cooking repertoire and imagination of cooks but also lead to assure a sense of security when the oysters are served at restaurants. In fact, it is said that famous chefs have begun handling the oysters regardless of Japanese, Western, and Chinese, even though it is only the fourth season since its debut.
Shipment time is from December to late April. As time goes by toward a laying period in early spring, the sweetness, umami, and thickness get stronger rapidly, I heard. “KUNISAKI OYSTER” is a branded oyster which you want to enjoy such transition of taste as well.
Kunisaki City Hall Forestry and Fisheries Division
TEL : 0978-72-5198
Photo by Mika HIrose Text by FOOD PORT.