Now then, our Beau Soleil oysters (Crassostrea virginica) are sourced through the pristine North Atlantic waters which enshrine the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick, Canada. In the summer months, the Beau Soleil (literal translation: Beautiful Sun) oysters are suspended in floating bags on Miramichi Bay (N 47.15/W 65.02).
The ceaseless action of the waves and the tidal currents of the bay cause the Beau Soleil to roll and chafe against one another in the suspension culture. This constant motion serves as an all-natural manicuring process, and the resulting oysters are incredibly consistent in terms of size, shape, and cleanliness.
Additionally, the shell strength of the Beau Soleil is worthy of mention. The rays of the Sun cause the shell to harden, creating an oyster which will present beautifully, even if opened by one with limited knife skills and or experience.
As the temperatures drop, so do the Beau Soleil. That is to say, the whole suspension culture is lowered through the water column of Mirachimi Bay. This allows for the formation of sea ice, which will serve as a harvest platform for the upcoming months.
A lapse in availability occurs twice annually with the freezing and the break up of the bay. It is hard to say how long this lapse will be from season to season, but it shouldn’t last more than a couple weeks.
Another note of distinction associated with the Beau Soleil is the packing as well as the packaging. Each and every box (that’s right…the Beau Soleil are packed out in wooden boxes) is hand packed. One at a time, the oysters are placed (cup down of course, to preserve the liquor) into 100 count boxes.
Lastly…Don’t be fooled by the size of the shell. Although the shells are on the diminutive side, I think that you’ll find the meats of the Beau Soleil to be in line with those you might find in an oyster with a substantially larger shell.