With our out-of-this-world oyster stuffing recipe coming out tomorrow, we wanted to cover an intriguing characteristic of oysters. Did you know that oysters have the ability to make pearls? We’ve even had a customer find a pearl inside an oyster that they purchased from our store! Very cool!
Now, how do oysters create pearls you ask? It all begins with an intruder inside of an oyster’s shell. When a grain of sand, or a tiny piece of food becomes trapped between the oyster’s shell and the protective later that covers the oyster’s organs, known as the mantle, the oyster goes into protection mode.
In order to protect itself from irritation, the oyster will begin covering the intruder with layers of nacre. Nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, is the mineral substance that makes up the inside of an oyster’s shell. Over time, these layers wall off the irritant from the oyster’s organs, and in turn create a pearl. Although this process seems simple, it can take years to form a decent sized pearl.
Although pearls form naturally, it is also possible to cultivate them as well. A cultured pearl is one that forms when a pearl farmer purposefully embeds a grain of sand into their oysters.
We find it so fascinating that a grain of sand can turn into something so magnificent!
Stay tuned for our pre-Thanksgiving oyster stuffing recipe tomorrow! It’s a must-have for the holidays!