UK romantics get their oyster fix on Valentine’s Day
Love it or loathe it, Valentine's Day is upon us once more: a day that culminates with many people getting together with their special someone for a romantic dinner. Whether eating at home or in a restaurant, oysters have long been synonymous with this occasion, and in the United Kingdom sales of these bivalves have again soared in the run-up to this year’s 14 February.
Oyster sales have steadily risen in recent years as the shellfish have gained in popularity, particularly around Valentine’s Day, confirmed David Jarrad, director of the Shellfish Association of Great Britain (SAGB).
They are healthy and nutritious, cultivated in an environmentally benign manner with no additives or chemicals – “a wonderful product,” said Jarrad.
The United Kingdom currently produces around 18 million oysters annually, most of which are the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) variety, which unlike the native oyster (Ostrea edulis) is available most of the year round.
In addition to the growing local appetite for U.K. oysters, they are highly coveted overseas, with more than 40 percent exported.
Oyster prices have remained at a similar level to 2016, with wholesalers wanting GBP 0.50 (USD 0.62, EUR 0.59) to GBP 0.60 (USD 0.75, EUR 0.70) per shell.
In retail, there have been a number of oyster promotions ahead of Valentine’s Day, including supermarket chain Morrisons, which has been selling them at just GBP 0.25 (USD 0.31, EUR 0.29) each on its fresh fish counters for the past week, down from the retailer’s usual price of GBP 0.60.