What is Abalone? What species of Abalone are available in Australia?
Australian Wild Caught Abalone is from the Haliotidae family, and is also called Bàoyú, Awabi, Ear Shell, Sea Snail or Ormeaux. Abalone is a mollusc, which is a cold-water species which commonly lie 5 to 30 metres under the Great Southern Ocean. Each Abalone has its own unique and diverse character covering a range of shapes, sizes, textures, tastes and colours. The main food source of the Abalone is the local seaweed and sea grass, allowing the colour to vary from light creamy to dark grey, depending on their habitat and the seaweed colour that they are eating. The strength and harshness of the ocean waves also helps to define the texture of each individual Abalone.
Australia has one of the last remaining wild resources of Abalone. Australian Wild Caught Abalone is under the Australian Fisheries Quota Management System and is only caught by licensed fisherman. These fishermen brave the dangers of the Australian Ocean to carefully measure, and hand pick this sea treasure, allowing us all to enjoy this delicacy.
There are more than 100 species of Abalone in the world, and Australia has 4 that are commercially available. The most abundant is Blacklip. Greenlip has a significantly smaller population, followed by Roei and Brownlip. The common names of Abalone usually describe the colour of the Epipode, the band separating the foot from the shell which also contains the feelers of the Abalone. Every difference in character, from environmental conditions to the Abalone’s food, results in a different taste and texture, which can be quite significant and of course exciting to discover end enjoy.
Greenlip Abalone, Haliotis Laevigate, also known as the Smooth Australian Abalone or the Whitened Ear Shell, located across Southern Mainland of Australia and Northern Tasmania. The flesh has a strong taste and a pale colour, making it very suitable for soups and for those seeking a more prominent flavour.
Blacklip Abalone, Haliotis Ruber, is known for its distinct black lip of the foot of the Abalone, is harvested in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania. It has a gentle and subtle taste. It also grows to a wide range of sizes and its colour is most easily influenced by the food of its immediate environment.
Brownlip Abalone, Haliotis Conicopora, is found from the southwest coast of Western Australia to the west coast of South Australia, named after its distinct brown lip. It is usually a much a larger abalone with darker colours and a strong and unique flavour.
Roei Abalone, Haliotis Roei, commonly known as Roe's Abalone, is a species of Abalone that are located from Shark Bay in Western Australia, south around to Western Victoria. This is a stunted species, enabling the individual whole piece of Abalone to be served and enjoyed, rather than sliced.
Did you know however, that there is common misconception that Natural Wild Caught Abalone is white? This is not correct. Wild Abalone comes in many shades of colours, from creamy to dark brown, even black, depending on the species. In order to make Wild Abalone “white”, you need to use chemicals. The most commonly used chemicals such as sulphur dioxide, cause loss of nutrition, loss of flavour, loss of texture, as well as loosing the original, natural colour of our gorgeous Abalone species.
Discover the taste of Natural Australian Abalone, and the uniqueness in taste, texture, and colour according to the species of Australian Abalone and the region they are from.