Ormer is the local name for what are known worldwide as abalones and is found on Guernsey & Jersey shores. They are gastropod molluscs which are basically marine snails.
An ormer will take 3 to 4 years to grow to 9cm in length, and a fully mature Ormer can be as big as 15.5cm in length. They can live for over 15 years.
The traditional way to cook Ormers is in a casserole and the recipe below has been around since at least 1673.
|2 hours 20 mins
|depends on the number of Ormers added (allow 2-3 per person)
- As many ormers as possible
- A strip or two of belly pork
- 2-3 carrots
- 2-3 shallots
- Guernsey butter
- Bay Leaf
- Salt and Pepper
- Soak the Ormers in fresh water for an hour.
- Prize them from their shells, scrub, trim and beat with a steak hammer.
- Flour the Ormers and brown in a frying pan with the Guernsey butter and a little oil.
- Cut the belly pork into cubes and place in a casserole dish.
- Sliced the carrots and place in the casserole dish with the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the Ormers to the casserole dish.
- Place in pre-heated oven at 160/170 °c for two hours.
- Turn down the oven and allow the casserole to simmer until cooked.
- Enjoy with a Guernsey Biscuit and Guernsey butter!
Fishing for Ormers...
Ormers have always been prized. So much so that the fishing for them now has to be regulated to ensure adequate stocks are maintained.
Fishing for Ormers may only take place from 1st October until 30th April. During the Ormering season, fishing may only take place on the first day of each new or full moon and the three following days.
Diving for Ormers is not allowed and because of the scarcity they can usually only be found at the lowest of tides far beyond the high-tide line