May 16th, 2013
Three breweries, one band, and all the oysters you can eat at Luc Chamberland’s Saltwater Oyster Depot, On beautiful Tomales Bay.
On Sunday, catch an oyster forum in the same location, with local experts and yours truly discussing the merits of oyster farms and the potential to start some new ones in California.
April 17th, 2013
Oysterman extraordinaire Luc Chamberlain kicks off his first ever Oyster Riot on May 18th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at his new Saltwater Oyster Depot in Inverness, California (right on Tomales Bay). I’ll be there all day for all-you-can-eat oysters and superb local wines, and I’ll stay the next day for panel discussions and more events at Luc’s sweet spot.
April 4th, 2013
The direct-ship website I Love Blue Sea has just further cemented its position as the amazon.com of oysters by doubling its oyster offerings. You can now select from ten different oysters, plus shucked quarts and half-gallons of Pacifics (a much better product for cooking purposes than what’s available to most of us on the east coast), and ordering is a snap on their revamped website. The oysters are generally shipped directly from the grower to you, maintaining peak freshness. It’s a pretty cool system, made cooler by the fact that some of the oysters are hard to find. Wild Belons from Maine! When was the last time you could order those through the mail? Also a nice balance of east and west coasts: Kusshis, Kumamotos, and Shigokus from Washington State, Sewansecotts and Lone Points from Virginia, and Naked Cowboys and Blue Points from Long Island Sound. There are actually 100 seafood offerings on the I Love Blue Sea site, so if you’ve been hankering to throw a $93 geoduck or a $134 jar of caviar into your oyster order, you’ve come to the right place!
March 18th, 2013
To celebrate World Water Day, City Winery (155 Varick Street) is throwing a party, with wine from Stark Wine and oysters from Brooklyn Oyster Party. Proceeds support WaterAid, a leading international organization that helps the world’s poorest communities gain access to safe water and sanitation. The festivities get rolling at 6 p.m. Details here.
January 23rd, 2013
The Chesapeake oyster revival continues with Broadwaters, the newest quality addition to the scene. Broadwaters are some of the biggest Virginia oysters I’ve seen, with deep cups and a salty, tangy taste with hints of pine or lemongrass (something I’ve previously noticed in Long Island oysters, which these closely resemble). The shells are a bit brittle, but that seems to be a problem endemic to the Chesapeake these days. Broadwaters nice surf/turf flavor comes from their broken-home upbringing.
The oysters are raised in Occohannock Creek:
View Larger Map
Until they are market sized (and a good, hefty market size, too). At this point, they are lovely oysters, they just aren’t very salty oysters, due to Chesapeake Bay’s modest salinity. Here is where the Broadwater oyster boys do a very smart thing. They haul the oysters out of the water and “salt them up” in Magothy Bay, here:
View Larger Map
This is an age-old technique that benefits most low-salt oysters. Since Magothy Bay is outside the eastern shore of Virginia, out of reach of its freshwater rivers, it is quite salty. In just a few days, the oysters absorb some of that Atlantic brine.
Broadwater Oysters also sells Occohannocks, which are the same oysters, only not relayed oceanside. Both can be ordered directly by the 100 count.