Ancient food

The tradition of eating oysters is very old. The Scandinavian Stone and Bronze age people left large amounts of oyster shells in their rubbish heaps.. The oyster was common then because the seas around Scandinavia were as warm as the Riviera is today. At the onset of the Iron age, the climate became colder and resulted in a decrease in oyster fishing. Oysters were eaten in ancient Greece and during the Roman Empire. To eat many oysters was a sign of refinement. It is said that the roman ceaser Aulus Vittellius ate 1200 oysters on one occasion without getting up. It is not said how he felt afterwards......
   The vikings ate oysters, even if it was thought to be a cowardly and weak act for these madmen from the north. The warrior Starkad criticized king Ingjald of Denmark because he ”fried and cooked his food and also ate oysters amongst other things that were unworthy of the viking way”.
   Oysters are mild in taste, often served au naturel (raw and alive) with lemon. Blue mussels are stronger in taste, which is the reason why they are not eaten au naturel to such an extent.

European oyster

The european oyster is found from Norway to the Mediterranean. The denser oyster banks are usually in sheltered bays, 3-8 m deep, on the SW sides of islands and sandy bottoms with a slight slope.
   Both halves of the shell are drawn together by a powerful adductor. Most bivalves have two adductors, but the oyster has only one. On the inside of the shell it is possible to see a scar from where the adductor was attached.
   The oyster eats plankton that it filters out of the surrounding water. The oyster in turn can be food for others e.g. the shore crab and common starfish. In oyster farms further south there are other enemies, the shelled parasite oyster pest that attaches itself to oyster shell and competes for the plankton, and the brown algae oyster thief that can be filled with so much oxygen during the photosynthesis process that it floats away with the attached oyster. Another is the single celled parasite Bonamia ostreae that kills the oyster. Oysters can be as old as 10-20 years.

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Ancient food

European oyster

Giant Japanese oyster

Other specie

Royal dish

Varying catches


Extensive farming

Intensive farming

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Bo Johannesson | Martin Larsvik | Lars-Ove Loo | Helena Samuelsson