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  • Oysters are a sure sign of high-end decadence, but look back 200 years and they were handed out as free bar snacks.

    生蠔是高端奢靡的明確指標,不過 200 年前,他們可是在酒吧被免費端出的點心。

  • So what made them the luxury food that they are today?


  • Oysters have been around for a while.


  • Estimates put the shellfish at around 300 million years old, at least, and humans have been enjoying them for centuries.

    這個貝類被預估至少有 3 億歲,而人類已經享用它們數個世紀。

  • Oyster cultivation was invented by Sergius Orata, a Roman engineer also often credited with the invention of underfloor heating.

    生蠔養殖是由一位羅馬工程師 Sergius Orata 發明的,他也被不少人認為是地板供熱系統的發明者。

  • And since his invention, oyster farming has become big business.


  • While you may be seeing oysters on the menu more these days, their popularity now is nothing compared to just 200 years ago.

    儘管現在你可能經常在菜單上看到生蠔,跟 200 年前相比,它們現在受歡迎的程度根本不值一提。

  • Oyster sales boomed from the early 19th century onwards, and the shellfish were sold as street food across London, Paris, and New York as they remained a cheap and accessible snack to many.

    生蠔買賣從 19 世紀初開始蓬勃發展起來,而當時它還是便宜而且許多人都能輕鬆取得的街頭小吃,在倫敦、巴黎和紐約的街頭都有販賣。

  • In 1860, the small British seaside town of Whitstable alone was sending 50 million tons of oysters to London each year.

    1860 年,光是英國的一座海濱小鎮 Whitstable ,每年都會運送 5000 萬噸的生蠔到倫敦。

  • And by 1900, New York was eating 1 million oysters every day.

    而到了 1900 年,紐約每天會吃掉 100 萬顆生蠔。

  • But as their popularity grew, so did the problems.


  • Industrialization and dredging of the waters in England led to over-fishing, and as more people moved to the coast, more and more sewage ended up dumped in oyster-growing waters.


  • Soon, there were outbreaks of typhoid and other diseases, and many oyster beds had to be closed.


  • Hard winters and new diseases killed off many of the remaining native oysters and gave the shellfish a bad reputation that lasted for years to come.


  • There's something else that kept the price of oysters down around the turn of the century : child labor.


  • In the early 20th century, American photographer Lewis Hine captured photographs of many of the children working in the oyster industry, even photographing 4-year-old Mary, who had apparently shucked two pots of oysters each day.

    在 20 世紀初,美國攝影師 Lewis Hine 拍下許多孩童在生蠔業工作的照片,當中甚至包括每天要剝兩盆生蠔殼、年僅 4 歲的 Mary。

  • Things had to change, though.


  • We soon realized the importance of clean water in the oyster-growing process and outlawed child labor.


  • Making oysters environmentally safe and ethical to grow came at a cost, as the shellfish take a lot of work to produce.


  • And now when oysters are raised, the environment they're grown in is one of the main considerations.


  • Here, there's no industry. There's very little even farming here.


  • What you've got out in the loch is just everything that is natural in the loch, so they're feeding on the best possible feed that you could want, and there couldn't be an any more natural product.


  • Each oyster takes two to three years to mature, and they start out microscopically small.


  • The tiny shellfish are grown in hatcheries.


  • When they're large enough, they're transplanted to their final growing place.


  • Well, we get the oysters in from our hatchery when they're about your thumbnail size.


  • We will grow them in these baskets for approximately two to three years, and then we'll send them to the depuration center for depurating, and then for packing and for dispatch.


  • At Loch Fyne, every oyster is depurated, a process that cleans the oysters and removes any dangerous bacteria.

    在 Fyne 湖,所有生蠔都會被淨化,這個過程會將生蠔洗淨並去除掉所有有害的細菌。

  • Every single oyster must be checked by hand.


  • Making sure that each oyster is shipped live is paramount.


  • Believe it or not, we sell roughly about 35,000 oysters every week out here, and every single oyster is individually checked.

    信不信由你,我們這裡每週賣出大概 3.5 萬顆生蠔,而每一顆都被個別檢查過。

  • So, what would we do is when we're packing the oysters, we'd pick up two oysters, and we would tap them together.


  • Now, you can obviously see that one's dead, but when you're packing thousands at a time, you wouldn't necessarily see it.


  • And sometimes it's only open just a little tiny bit, but when you tap that oyster, you can hear it almost straightaway.


  • And that is the best way to tell if an oyster's gonna reach its shelf life, whether it should be discarded.


  • Oysters may only have a nine-day shelf life, but that doesn't stop them being shipped all across the globe.


  • And their popularity and image as a luxury treat means that their demand is only going to rise.


Oysters are a sure sign of high-end decadence, but look back 200 years and they were handed out as free bar snacks.

生蠔是高端奢靡的明確指標,不過 200 年前,他們可是在酒吧被免費端出的點心。

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B2 中高級 中文 英國腔 生蠔 淨化 養殖 養殖場 貝類 海濱

【動物】200 年前的生蠔比現在更夯?!生蠔為什麼這麼貴? (Why Oysters Are So Expensive | So Expensive)

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    Nina 發佈於 2019 年 11 月 23 日