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

PHOTOS: Anti-racism rally in Chilliwack goes ahead, despite rumours of cancellation

Saturday’s rally of about 150 people was small compared to Friday’s march where hundreds showed up

PHOTOS: Chilliwack commemorates 76th anniversary of D-Day with small but significant ceremony

Two wreaths were laid at the quiet ceremony attended by about 25 people in Sardis

PHOTOS w/ VIDEO: Peaceful Black Lives Matter march and rally in Chilliwack

Youth-led march down Yale Road followed by passionate speeches at Central Community Park

Hundreds fill Chilliwack streets for Black Lives Matter march

‘Canada has a problem too,’ reads at least one protester’s sign

Chilliwack RCMP heard gunfire en route to suspicous activity

Chilliwack man, 42, sent to hospital after shooting, RCMP have confirmed

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

Run for Water: Abbotsford man raises $100,000 running 100-mile marathon

Kevin Barata ran up and down Ledgeview Trails 32 times, exceeding elevation of Mt. Everest

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

Most Read