Apr 01, 2008
Yes, Blue Points, that most abused of oyster appellations. But not just any Blue Points. After a century of exile, real Blue Points are once again growing in their ancestral home—Long Island’s Great South Bay. Thank Chris Quartuccio, who used to make his living diving for wild oysters in Long Island Sound. A huge set of wild oysters in the sound in the mid-90s led to record harvests—Quartuccio once collected 2,300 oysters in ninety minutes. These oysters were, fairly enough, sold as Blue Points, and they can be pretty good. The largest source of Long Island Sound Blue Points–Connecticut’s legendary Tallmadge Brothers, run by the Bloom family–has been supplying reliably briny Blue Points for years. But the name has been undercut by boring and bland “New Jersey Bluepoints,” “Virginia Bluepoints,” and other pretenders. Recently, Quartuccio decided to restore the Blue Point to greatness. He purchased a unique facility near the Fire Island inlet in Great South Bay—a one-hundred-foot, free-standing dock built right into the bay, with a chipper-looking cottage right on top. The oysters grow in trays around the dock and deliver the full-salt assault that made Blue Points famous in the 1820s, along with fascinating pine and anise notes most apparent in spring. Delivered straight to Manhattan restaurants, or direct to your house, they are the genuine article.
Bluepoint headquarters, with Fire Island in the background
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