The Big Island Oyster is found specifically in Robinson Cove, Big Island, Nova Scotia. Collected from the wild by the Mi’kmaq and settlers alike, cultivated or “farmed” production of oysters in Canada began in the early 1800’s. The aboriginal Mi’kmaq made extensive historical use of oysters in addition to other shell and fin-fish in the region.
Big Island Oysters are from the Atlantic Oyster species known as Crassostrea Virginica. They have a light brown, elongated shell, that is medium in size and fairly shallow. Upon opening one can detect a beautiful tidal pool aroma. The oyster’s liquor has a medium level of salinity and crisp texture to the flesh, with pleasing levels of fattiness. The oyster’s flavour profile is well balanced, and its’ persistent aftertaste of iodine and algae is equally enjoyable.
In the late 1950’s to the early 1960’s the Malpeque disease slowly wiped out all of the oyster populations in the Big Island/Merigomish Harbour area. Thankfully, in the late 1960’s to early 1970’s, Everett and Daphne Baudoux took on the responsibility of completely reseeding the Southern shores of Big Island with oysters resistant to this disease. Today the oysters of Robinson Cove, Big Island are the direct natural, genetic descendants of this re-seeding effort.