The time of the oyster is before us. Mali Ston oyster is one of the most respected in the world. It has been cultivated in the Mali Ston Bay since Roman times, and the first written traces date back to the time of the Republic of Dubrovnik. At this time of the year, when it is the best, Bota Šare restaurants in Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik organize Oyster Days from March 7 to April 1.
How are oysters grown? Spawn oysters are collected, i.e. micro-small oysters cause large oysters, that are three to five years old, to move. These "moms" oysters are carried by the current across the bay and they release the spawn. The Šare family then puts the collectors of spawns. Once there were branches made of wood, buds or pines and today they use curtains of fabric. The spawn gathers mostly in the spring or autumn, depending on the year, is the structure of the sea, which is suitable for the oyster to release its spawn. Once the spawn is collected, one has to wait up to a year and a half.
The oyster then grows five to six inches. They then enter the second stage of production called cementation because cement is used as an adhesive. Oysters are glued back-to-back and twenty to thirty pieces are placed on a special pergular (open narrow space suitable for the growth of oysters) and there each oyster stands for a year to a year and a half. It takes three years to produce an oyster. Mortality, i.e., natural selection in that period is up to 40 per cent.
Mali Ston Bay is especially suitable for oyster farming because it has karst underwater springs. It has the river Neretva in Ploče, which brings freshwater, and the bay is long and narrow, and it has large roots that give the impression that you are in a river, and not in a bay about 30 kilometres long. The combination of mixing fresh and saltwater, current, sun and such a shape of the bay gives it this speciality and plankton more than the open sea in the Adriatic. It is an oyster food, and the reason why the Mali Ston oyster is so appreciated and delicious.
Small oysters Ostrea edulis- Flat oysters in the past were widespread throughout Europe, and today are inhabited only in a few bays. Around the feast of St. Joseph on March 19, the fleshy body of this noble flat shell is most abundant in its maturity. There is a lot of iodine, selenium, zinc and chromium.