"Have you ever tasted a Whitstable oyster?"
Ostrea edulis (the native Whitstable oyster)
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeOstrea edulis (the native Whitstable oyster) - Credit: Myrabella, Wikimedia Commons

This striking opening line refers to a type of oyster that has been collected in the seas off Whitstable since Roman times.

The traditional Whitstable oyster is Ostrea edulis; the local name for members of this species is natives. Today, Whitstable oyster is a protected title which may be used to describe both natives and other species of oyster grown in local waters; the oysters are raised in hatcheries before being transferred to offshore oyster beds.

The Whitstable oyster industry declined substantially between the 1920s and the late 1970s, but is now undergoing a revival; the annual oyster festival, which has long been a feature of the town, continues to be held in late July, the traditional holiday period of the oyster dredgers.

Whitstable lies on the north coast of Kent, a county in southeast England.

 

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