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.



[email protected]

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

Homeless count is coming to the Fraser Valley to help track the numbers

Training Feb. 27 in Chilliwack to help volunteers adopt respectful and compassionate approach

Mya Onos gears up for B.C. Winter Games

The decorated speed skater starts competing Friday

UPDATE: ‘Chain reaction pile up’ closes southbound traffic on Coquihalla Highway

Black Press Media has reached out to RCMP, paramedics for details

Woman in Fraser Health region confirmed as sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

IIO called to Chilliwack after man goes into medical distress in RCMP cells

Male was arrested for assault at CGH, cleared by hospital, then had medical issue next morning

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Petition slams Victoria councillor who chastised police after Wetsuweten protest

Ben Isitt calls effort to get him suspended is not a ‘reliable barometer of public opinion’

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

PHOTOS: 2020 BC Winter Games kick off in Fort St. John

More than 1,000 of B.C.’s best athletes will be competing over the next three days

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

‘Usain Bolt he was not’: B.C. gang police seize drugs, cash after foot chase

‘The man took off running when he saw our officers approaching,’ CFSEU BC says

Suspect at large after stealing seaplane before crashing into another in Vancouver

Police responded to the incident at 3:30 a.m. on Friday at Vancouver Harbour

Canadians released from coronavirus-ridden cruise ship in Japan fly home

Those who were cleared to travel are to be screened again at Canadian Forces Base Trenton

Most Read