Season's first oysters eagerly sought
By Ellie Constantine
Taieri farmer Stephen Mitchell enjoys the taste of fresh Bluff oysters at the Best Cafe, Dunedin, yesterday. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery. 
Taieri farmer Stephen Mitchell enjoys the taste of fresh Bluff oysters at the Best Cafe, Dunedin, yesterday. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
They were juicy, tasty, well sized and went down a treat.
Diners at the Best Cafe in Dunedin enjoyed some of the city's first Bluff oysters yesterday and all agreed they were delicious.
Among them was Stephen Mitchell, a Taieri farmer, who coincidentally was in town for business and thought he would "call in on the off chance they had some".
He thought his dozen cooked in batter were of a good size and even treated his daughter Amanda to the seafood.
Carole Tucker, from Scotland, had her first taste of Bluff oysters while in the city visiting her daughter.
"They were absolutely delicious," she said.
Restaurant owner Mabel McCormick sent husband Ken south on Sunday night to collect her order at 8am yesterday.
By lunchtime, she was serving them to eager customers.
Poor weather meant some boats could not make it out yesterday, so it would be a few more days before more were available, she said.
However, she had enough to last a while.
The "quite big" oysters would be sold for the same price as last year, $38 a dozen with chips and coleslaw, she said.
One customer enjoyed them so much he wolfed down three dozen - two cooked, one raw - for lunch.
Waihola Fresh Fish Supply's Al Conley expected the order to arrive last night.
They would come pottled and ready to sell for $25 or $26 a dozen.
However, others were not so lucky.
Blue Water Products did not have any yesterday but fielded many inquiries.
Owner Ross Hutchison hoped to have some today but expected the "usual difficult first few weeks" for oyster suppliers.
"Southerners get very excitable when the first lot come in," he said.
The oyster season opened on Sunday and will run until August 31.