Separated from the Chesapeake by a long peninsula and sheltered from the ocean by only the lip of Assateague Island National Seashore, Chincoteague Bay is not fed by any significant sources of fresh water. Oysters from its waters pack the full salt wallop of the Atlantic. For this reason, and because of the easy access, Chincoteague was a popular spot for relaying Gulf oysters on their way to northern markets. Two weeks at Chincoteague gave a little flavor. Chincoteague Salts was the classic name many people looked for, and you will still find it some places. True to the name, it is a very salty oyster, generally skinny and elongated. Also an exceptionally clean one for the mid-Atlantic, as you’d expect from the National Seashore setting. But once you get past the salt, Chincoteagues can be disappointing; there isn’t much to back up the brine.

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