New Points

Apr 21, 2008

On six acres of Dyers Creek, one of the most remote peninsulas in Virginia, Jack White grows the most beautiful and robust oyster on the Chesapeake. Lovingly tended by White, New Points develop indestructible shells that seem almost like bottomless pits: the oyster keeps going down, down, all the way to the end of the curving cornucopia. The shells look like they were designed by Matisse: tender pinks, purples, and greens; colors common in Pacifics but rarely so apparent in virginicas. The oysters, as meaty as any I’ve tasted, have a mild flavor and the yellowed ivory flesh common to southern oysters. That mild meatiness made them the best fried oysters I’ve had. The oysters are named for the New Point Comfort Lighthouse, the only thing that sticks farther into the Chesapeake than White’s pristine tidelands. White, whose eponymous great-grandfather worked three thousand acres of oysters with a fleet of twenty-five skipjacks, is one of the driving forces behind the Chesapeake’s Oyster Gardener program. His goal is “a billion in the bay before I die.”

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