Oysters for the cost of a pint at Plymouth Indoor Market
Being what is commonly known as ‘poor’, I’m a big fan of bargains. Part of my inspiration for this blog was to tell people that good food doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Today I found a great bargain.
One of my (many) slightly petty pet peeves with the Morrisons near my house is that it proudly sells ‘Scottish Oysters’ for 55p each, hoping that the average shopper will be blissfully unaware that there are great local oysters grown less than 30 miles away.’See those oysters love? They’re Scottish! Scottish! Shall we get some?’
I was idly tweeting about oysters the other day, such is my wont, suggesting local oysters should be available in a fish port and was could anyone help me find them. And Stephen Barrett replied, pointing out that I could pick up Yealm oysters locally, just as he does for his restaurant. For those of you further afield, the Yealm is a river which meets the coast about a dozen miles East of Plymouth in the South Hams area of Devon.
So this morning I headed for Plymouth City Market. I didn’t like the place when I first went there – it has to be said there is a lot of tat on sale. But what it does have is a great little fishmongers, as well as a deli, greengrocer and butchers. I have been in the fishmongers before, buying a gurnard(!). This time it was shellfish I was after.
Seeing good chunky oysters on display I enquired where they were from. ‘The Yealm’ was the reply. I bought half a dozen. The price? £3.60. That is what a price of fizzy piss lager will cost in some bars in Plymouth these days.
They are currently resting in my fridge, awaiting eating in a manner I see fit. I’m not sure yet whether to just shuck em and neck em or do something more adventurous with them. Ideas welcome.
In the meantime, if you are after fish you can do worse than head to the Market Fishmonger. It has a great variety of fish (some excellent-looking John Dory when I was there) and they’ll do all your cutting and gutting for you, as you might expect. In fact, you can get your whole meal from within the market’s aisles. It’ll give you an enormous sense of well-being.