New York and Connecticut

Shelter Island

Shelter Island is “sheltered” by the twin forks of Long Island’s tail, served by ferries from either fluke. It’s a somnolent island of gray-shingled homes and tiny, now-you’ll catch-them-now-you-won’t fish markets, with a full quarter of the island devoted to the Mashomack Nature Conservancy Preserve. The Shelter Island Oyster Company was one of the big players in Long Island oysters right up to the 1950s, when they finally gave up the ghost. Now some clever islanders have revived the name, if not the methods. This iteration of Shelter Island oysters is grown on an 86-acre farm in the clean and salty waters of Gardiner’s Bay on the East side of Shelter Island. Like other Peconic Bay oysters, Shelter Islands have the distinctive black-and-rust shells and the black stripe on the top valve. The shells are wafer-thin, so you must be very careful not to shatter them, but once inside you will find a savory three-inch oyster.

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