Wild Chathams

Oct 28, 2007

Wild oysters from Chatham, right at Cape Cod’s elbow, have grabbed the yellow jersey in the competition for Best Fall Oyster ’07. These beauties, hand-picked at low tide by two friends of mine from Chatham’s ancient oyster ponds and tide flats, have four-to-six-inch, deep-cupped shells of white and metallic gray-green, touched with bits of rust and aquamarine and a slight mother-of-pearl luminescence. They look more perfect than anything I’ve seen coming from a farm this fall, inside and out: the meats were full, plump, creamy ivory, and the flavor was rich, more buttery than sweet. A touch of mignonette made with wild apple cider vinegar, shallots, and pepper brought out an appley fruitiness from somewhere. It’s everything you want in a virginica. Which begs the question: Is anyone out there selling Chathams? And if not, why not? Love to hear from anybody who has an informed opinion, or even an uninformed one.

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