If an oyster is labeled simply a Chesapeake, don’t expect much. It’s like a wine with the basic Bordeaux appellation: it covers an immense area, and is the default name for a product that doesn’t qualify for anything better. Unless it says otherwise, expect a Chesapeake to be a wild oyster with little flavor that was dredged off the bay floor. Look for more specific appellations—Rappahannock, York, Chincoteague—instead.

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James River Rappahannock River York River Stingray Paramour Bogues Bay Olde Salt Chincoteague