30 Guernsey Essentials: Eat an Ormer

OrmerDuring 2014, we are celebrating 30 years of bringing customers from the UK to the Channel Islands. As part of this celebration, we will be writing about 30 Guernsey essentials, from attractions and outdoor activities to special local food and some lesser-known island treats.

Part 1: Eat an Ormer

Beautiful, edible and elusive ormers have always been high on the menu list in Guernsey’s homes. This sought after mollusk – known as abalone in the rest of the world – is to be found on the island’s shores and can be harvested by hand, although decline in stocks in the past have led to strictly regulated “ormering” practices. Tides – as often in the Channel islands – play a big part in the process so beware of the Ormering Tides before embarking on your fishing!

Farming

Guernsey Sea Fisheries started The Ormer Project in 2012 to better understand their breeding process and guarantee a sustainable production source. To this day this lovely delicacy is to be found in home kitchens rather than restaurant menus, a fact that will no doubt change once supplies are safe.

Guernsey Sea FisheriesThe public demand is high and it shouldn’t be long before locally farmed ormers stand proudly next to crabs, scallops or whelks on the Bailiwick markets’ displays.

Recipes

Pickled, stewed, casseroled but always beaten first to soften its flesh, many islanders will add their own personal touch to the dish.

Richard Tostevin is a passionate ormer fisherman and connoisseur whose knowledge on the subject makes him a bit of a local expert. Here is Richard’s favourite recipe:

Richard’s ormer recipe

  1. Remove the ormers from the the shells and beat them
  2. Slice them into chip like pieces
  3. Roll in flour
  4. Fry for two minutes on each side

To be enjoyed with a chilled glass of your favourite dry white wine!

Ormer

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