The immense saltwater Bras D’Or Lakes nearly turn Cape Breton Island into a donut shape, with them as the donut hole. The channel to the sea is small, but the lakes aren’t fed by any sizable rivers, so the oysters stay brinier than you might think. Other than brine, they are very light in body—a quintessential Maritime oyster. Chances are your Bras D’Or oysters will be from Alba Oyster Farm, where Melissa and Bill Maclean collect their own wild spat in May and grow the seed oysters for a full year in floating trays, near the surface in summer and down below the ice that covers the lakes the other half of the year. The oysters are gently placed on the bottom of the lakes, where they spend three more years slowly marinating in the Atlantic brine.