A gastronomic adventure awaits visitors to Sligo town with the launch of Sligo Oyster Experience, Ireland’s first dedicated oyster trail and interactive visitor centre to be officially opened on Thursday 2 August. Funding for Sligo Oyster Experience was secured under the Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) administered Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) investment and also received extensive support from the BIM and Fáilte Ireland Taste the Atlantic – a seafood journey initiative.

Sligo Oyster Experience begins with a short walking tour, crossing the Garavogue river that runs through the town, and out to Sligo Bay where oyster production has taken place for generations. Sligo Oyster Experience owner and manager, Aisling Kelly, wearing a sturdy oyster glove, provides live oyster shucking demonstrations and tastings for visitors where she describes the sharp brine and rich finish of local Wild Atlantic Oysters and the shell’s distinctive purple hue due to the minerals found in the surrounding Atlantic seabeds of Sligo Bay.

Jim O’Toole, CEO of BIM welcomed the opening of the visitor centre and said “The vision for Taste the Atlantic is to provide visitors the opportunity to explore, understand and get to know how the wild Atlantic waters influence the production and taste of some of Ireland’s seafood.”

To date, 21 producers form part of the Taste the Atlantic seafood trail that stretches from the Inishowen Peninsula at the top of Donegal to Oysterhaven Bay in Cork.

Aisling Kelly, owner of Sligo Oyster Experience said:

“I’m thrilled the Oyster Experience, which has been developing as an idea for some time has finally come to fruition. It’s only the beginning, I’m really looking forward to developing it further and introducing a whole new audience both locals and visitors to Wild atlantic oysters and Sligo Bay.”

Bookings can be made online at www.sligooysterexperience.ie or at any tourist office nationwide.

Details on Taste the Atlantic can be found at www.wildatlanticway.com  and www.bim.ie