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Crowds enjoy a taste of the sea at Falmouth Oyster Festival

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 15, 2012

  • Chef Nick Hodges of the Flying Fish Restaurant demonstrates roasted orchard fruits with Italian merangue to a capacity crowd on Saturday Picture: Colin Higgs

  • Anna Birtles has her very first oyster

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For some it was the first time they had tasted the slippery delicacy – while others knew exactly what to expect.

This year's Falmouth Oyster Festival brimmed with visitors keen to sample the shellfish either washed down with a flute of champagne or a pint of beer.

The four-day event finished yesterday and saw the town population swell by thousands.

Held every year the extravaganza celebrates the beginning of the oyster dredging season. Cornish waters are one of the few remaining fisheries where time-honoured methods are used to bring the oysters to the surface.

Fishermen onboard traditional sail boats set out from Falmouth Harbour to haul their bounty from the depths and bring it home.

The event has become a calendar highlight for food-lovers with a string of cookery master-classes from well-known chefs.

It takes place in the town's Event Square and has seen an increasing number of Cornish food and drink producers selling their various wares.

Visitors can amble around craft fair stalls in the festival marquee with stands stacked high with other seafood, food, wine and local ale.

And for the children there is shell painting, sea shanties, a town parade, live music and an oyster shucking competition.

One of the highlights is the Falmouth Working Boat Race attracts crowds of spectators as competitors pit their sailing skills against one another in a battle for supremacy of the waves.

Click here to see gallery one of Falmouth Oyster Festival

Click here to see gallery two of Falmouth Oyster Festival

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