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-  Aw shucks, it’s oyster season in Galway  (© ClaudineVM/Getty Images)

When you think of Ireland, do you think of oysters? The proud oyster farmers here in Galway Bay think you should. This weekend, fans of the bivalve have poured into the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival, an event that claims to be the oldest oyster festival in the world--and the most recognized Irish festival outside of St. Patrick’s Day. Visit Galway yourself and you can sample the native oysters, which have been harvested here for centuries, and also try the Pacific varieties that were brought in during the 1970s. Fans of native Galway oysters tout their meaty texture and subtle flavor. They pair well with Guinness, we presume.