Part of European Region of Gastronomy 2017
Presented by Limfjorden, Geopark Vestjylland, Wadden Sea, Sydvestjyske Smagsoplevelser, FOOD and Central Denmark Region
Oysters, red deer and beaver - this is the programme for the gourmet trip Bring Home the Oysters, an exclusive offer from European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017. The day begins with searching for oysters in the beautiful countryside between Thyholm and Jegindø – part of Geopark West Jutland, now in the process of being approved as a UNESCO Global Geopark.
After this, the curtain rises for a very special beaver and red deer safari, led by experienced guides from Hedevang Outdoor and the West Jutland Nature Agency. The activities of the day will be celebrated with a banquet in a 'lavvu' tent in the middle of the forest, where chefs from Tambohus Inn will serve up red deer and local specialties.
Oysters have often been associated with myths, magic and great culinary experiences. Oysters are reputed to possess special amorous qualities, and legend has it that Casanova consumed 50 oysters a day – all served, of course, by beautiful women. There are also those who claim that Caesar invaded Britain in pursuit of the best oysters. In Denmark, oysters belonged to the royal family, who made a lot of money exporting them to the Russian Tsar. Ordinary people were forbidden to harvest them under pain of death. Fortunately, times have changed, and today the Limfjorden is home both to the original European oyster and the invasive Pacific oyster. Led by experienced nature guides from Hedevang Outdoor, participants will be able to enjoy them raw or prepared in a variety of ways.
Participants will also be invited on a safari to see nature's own landscape architect – the beaver. After more than 1,000 years of absence, beavers were once more released into the wild in Denmark in 1999 at Klosterhede Plantation south of Lemvig. The original 18 animals have since expanded to a population of about 200. Nature guides from the West Jutland Nature Agency will take participants on a safari to see for themselves the beavers' ability to change the landscape. They will be told all about the animal's unique way of life – and who knows, maybe there will be a chance to say hello to a beaver or two?
Autumn is also the time to experience the kings of the forest – the red deer. At this time, males are competing for the favours of the hinds, and their dramatic rutting roar can be heard throughout the forest. Danish red deer have been natural inhabitants of the area since the last Ice Age, and one of the country's largest herds is to be found at Klosterheden. Participants have the perfect setting to taste red deer: in a large tent – a 'lavvu' – in the middle of the forest, chefs from Tambohus Inn will serve a festive meal, an evening buffet with red deer as the focal point, complemented with side dishes of other delicious local specialities, including Thise cheeses, matured in the North Sea wind, or in the limestone caves at Hjerm. After the meal, participants will be taken on the last safari of the day to experience the red deer in their natural surroundings.
Before heading back to the European Capital of Culture Aarhus, the day's events will be celebrated by a traditional hunt parade, except that in this case the day's experiences will be toasted, rather than animal spoils. The safari will take place on September 30. Trap Tours in Odder (www.traptours.dk) will take care of the practical details, and Dit Busselskab from Hornslet (www.ditbusselskab.dk) will ensure that participants are safely transported throughout the day. Tickets may be bought from Trap Tours and can be ordered on www.traptours.dk/jagtogsafari at a cost of DKK 1,495 kr. by September26 at the latest.
Programme for the oyster hunt and the safari to see red deer and beavers
September 30, 2017
10:00 Departure from Aarhus, from the bus park at the Aarhus Concert Hall.
12:00 Arrive at Tambohus Inn in Thyholm for lunch
13:00 Oyster safari in the waters off Tambohuse, led by Hedevang Outdoors.
15:30 Departure for Klosterheden with information about Geopark Vestjylland - a forthcoming UNESCO Global Geopark.
16:00 Coffee and Danish pastry at Møllesøen in the heart of Klosterhede Plantation.
16:30 Beaver safari with guides from the West Jutland Nature Agency.
18:00 Banquet with red deer and local specialties prepared by chefs from Tambohus Inn, served in a large tent – a 'lavvu' – in the middle of the red deer breeding grounds.
19:30 Red deer safari – a so-called 'rutting tour' in which participants will experience the majestic roar of the deer during their mating ritual.
20:30 Hunt parade – highlighting and rounding off the events of the day.
21:00 The trip home begins.
23:00 Arrival in Aarhus.