Eric Bourquin holds a handful of the pearls discovered inside an oyster he was eating at a friend’s house in Saanichton. (Photo courtesy of Eric Bourquin)

Pearl-filled oyster surprises Greater Victoria dinner party guests

Oyster, caught in Courtenay, contained almost 50 pearls of varying sizes

A pearl-filled oyster had a Greater Victoria man fearing for his own pearly whites after he bit into the fresh-caught mollusc at a friend’s house on Saturday night.

READ ALSO: Scuba scientists help save endangered marine life off Vancouver Island

Eric Bourquin said his friend trapped the oysters in a “secret spot” near Courtenay, not long before their evening dinner in Saanichton. The oysters were dipped in flour and pan-fried for appetizers while the friends drank a few beers before dinner.

But after one bite, Bourquin knew he had not been given an ordinary oyster.

“It was like biting into a bunch of rocks,” he said. “I almost chipped my teeth.”

Bourquin spit out the pearls in his mouth and started looking through the rest of the oyster. Sure enough, there were dozens more.

Bourquin said he and his wife both grew up in Victoria, often eating fresh local seafood, but neither had ever bitten into a pearl-filled oyster.

“We couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I’ve never experienced anything like that.”

READ ALSO: Two B.C. oyster farms closed by norovirus

The oyster itself was small – barely three inches long – but somehow contained almost 50 pearls of varying sizes. One resembles a molar tooth and some are only one or two millimetres in size.

Bourquin says the misshapen pearls are likely not worth much and he’s given them to his wife and the oystercatcher to make pendants or earrings. Still, biting into dinner and finding secret treasure has left the couple happy as a clam.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

Province bringing 421 new affordable childcare spaces to Fraser Valley

Supporting early childhood educators and creating spaces go hand in hand, minister says

New waste system rolling out across Hope Feb. 10

Bins began arriving at homes around Hope this week

Rude awakening: 1.6-magnitude earthquake rouses residents from their sleep

The quake was detected 3 km east-northeast of Agassiz

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Kobe Bryant’s helicopter flew in fog that grounded other choppers

The cause of the crash that killed Bryant, his daughter and several others was unknown

Victoria-area wolf tranquilized after being seen running around neighbourhood

Officials say wolf unharmed during its ‘arrest’

Ontario confirms second presumptive coronavirus case in wife of first patient

Both arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants head coach records 200th win with 3-2 victory in Kelowna

Michal Kvasnica and David Tendeck named stars of the game

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Most Read