Dec 01, 2007
Stop the presses. A relatively new, truly great oyster has arrived. Winter Points must take their place beside Glidden Points and Pemaquids as the quintessential
Maine oysters. (In fact, they always have been. Though they are new on the market, the area where they live has been a saltwater farm for more than 300 years.) Grown in Mill Cove, near
Bath, they are four-inch oysters filled with brine and brothy umami richness. So rich and firm, with a hint of sweetness on the finish—could this be because of the clay seabed of Mill Cove? With oysters, clay and rich flavor seem to go together. The shells of Winter Points have a beautiful black-and-white fan pattern, tinged with green algae. More important, they are nice and strong, owing to the fact that the critters spend their last stage of life on the bottom of Mill Cove, toughening up. Before that, they are started in upwellers on the surface, then transferred to racks-and-bags just off the bottom of the cove. Winter Points are available year-round, a rarity in
Maine. The young and crazy growers cut the ice with saws in the winter and harvest with bull rakes. Give a little moment of silence for their fortitude next time you eat Winter Points in January, which should be soon. Where to find them? Browne Trading Company (1-800-944-7848) and Harbor Fish Market (1-800-370-1790 x.2) are your best bets.
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