Oyster time in Galway

Anyone like oysters?

For those who do, this was a big weekend in Galway, Ireland. It was the annual Galway Oyster Festival (official name Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival). According to the festival’s website, the event is Ireland’s most internationally recognized food festival and the world's longest running international oyster festival. So it’s a big deal in oyster-loving circles.

The festival involves all kinds of events, some more oyster-related than others. They have a parade through the streets of Galway, dance balls, cooking demonstrations, music concerts, and much more.

The highlight of the festival is the World Oyster Opening Championship. For this time-honored event, countries around the world send their best competitors to fight for championship glory. Contestants go head-to-head shucking 30 oysters as fast as they can, using only a knife and a cloth. Judges pick a winner based on speed, presentation, and lack of oyster blood (among other things).

If, like most of us, you weren’t in Galway this weekend, that’s okay. Galway Bay oysters are famous around the world, and you can enjoy them any time of year. You just need to get to Galway. EF College Break’s Emerald Isle trip comes to mind.

Photo: andy_kyte_uk via Flickr (CC)

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