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

Rio Tinto responds to U.S. aluminum import tariffs

The tariffs were imposed by President Donald Trump Aug. 6

The much-awaited Splash Park opens in Burns Lake

The Splash Park at the Radley Beach Park is finally open for… Continue reading

Brucejack mine fatality identified

Patrick Critch was from Newfoundland

Granisle receives $4.3 million funding for Wastewater Treatment plant upgrade

The village will finally get to upgrade the 49 years old plant

Spirit North Burns Lake conducting canoe, paddle board camp for indigenous kids

Rachelle van Zanten, the Community Program Director for the Burns Lake area… Continue reading

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Most Read