If we miss your favorite, let us know in the comments! In her classic book "Consider the Oyster," MFK Fisher describes the "dreadful but exciting life of an oyster" like this (obviously, this is the reason we're starting with East Coasters): American oysters differ as much as American people, so that the Atlantic Coast inhabitants spend their childhood and adolescence floating free and unprotected with the tides, conceived far from their mothers and their fathers too by milt let loose in the water near the eggs, while the Western oysters lie within special brooding chambers of the maternal shell, inseminated and secure, until they are some two weeks old. In the 1600s, oysters in the Chesapeake Bay were so abundant that the oysters were filtering the bay's waters once a week. Wellfleet oysters are grown in Wellfleet Harbor in the northeastern part of Cape Cod. Pacific oysters used to be used to describe all small Pacific oysters like Kumamotos and Miyagis. Oyster gardeners with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation are reporting a banner year. Raw bars present patrons with lists of dozens of oysters to choose from. As technology improved during the Industrial Age, numbers of wild Chesapeake oysters began to decline due to over-harvesting and reef destruction. Okay fine, that last thing was an exaggeration, but there are A LOT. More testing has found so-called “forever chemicals” in a striped bass, blue crab and oyster from the Chesapeake Bay, as well as in drinking water from household taps in Maryland’s Montgomery County. Many people are shocked to learn that Bluepoints and Wellfleets, Malpeques and Beausoleils are all Crassostrea virginicas, as are some 85% of oysters harvested in the U.S., including most of those in the Gulf of Mexico. True bluepoints are raised in Long Island's Great South Bay where they were first found. A single oyster filters up to 50 gallons of water per day. The best recipes, kitchen tips and genius food facts. Beau Soleil Oysters (New Brunswick, Canada), Beau Soleil oysters (the two left oysters in the picture) are Canadians as well, but these meaty bivalves hail from New Brunswick. Broil 7 minutes or until tops are browned and oysters are done. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation recently unveiled what staff believe is the first-ever mobile oyster restoration facility. The Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries are also home to species that people do not harvest for food, including the endangered Atlantic sturgeon . European flats are characterized by their smooth flat shell and lovely seaweed and sharp mineral taste. Wild populations still exist and are strictly protected. Malpeque oysters and Raspberry Point oysters both hail from the icy Canadian waters of Prince Edward Island, and are both bottom-cultured. These bottom-planted, Long Island Sound oysters are harvested from the famous oyster beds of Norwalk and Westport, Connecticut. The finest Chesapeake Bay oysters are Choptank Sweets: robust, meaty oysters with a rich creamy texture, a sweet buttery flavor with a clean crisp finish. Stuffing Vs. Dressing: What's the Difference? So in a year when people harvested 500,000 metric tons of oysters, they removed the equivalent of more than 40,000 school buses or 3000 blue whales from the Chesapeake. For more than a century, oysters have made up one of the Chesapeake Bay's most valuable commercial fisheries alongside blue crab, striped bass and Atlantic menhaden. The Chesapeake Bay Program is a partnership of federal and state agencies, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions. European flats are often called Belons. Pacifics are usually named after where they are grown, such as Totten Inlet and Fanny Bay, but some are trade names such as the justly well-known Sweetwater oyster from Hog Island Oyster Company. European flats are often called Belons. Today, "bluepoint oyster" is often used as a general term for any Atlantic oyster served on the half-shell, i.e. The names people are used to hearing for eastern oysters are regional names. Kumamotos used to be lumped in with Pacific oysters, but it ends up they are their own species. Pacifics have a distinctly more fluted, sharply pointed shell than Atlantics or European flats. Eastern oysters, Crassostrea virginica, are a critical component of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, known as a keystone species.The reefs that oysters form provide important habitat for the Bay’s fish, crabs, worms, and other animals. But, other oysters are often brought to Chincoteague's waters to hang out in a salt bath for a bit, making them mostly just salty. Why are oysters important for the Chesapeake Bay? ... Quonset Point Oysters (Narragansett Bay, RI) Marx Foods. They have a meaty texture and, for those used to different kinds of oysters, almost a crunch to them. Thank Chris Quartuccio, who used to make his living diving for wild oysters in Long Island Sound. The oyster is more or less the same, but at least with a Copp Island, you know that it's coming from Bloom. We had no idea, so we just said bring us whatever you like.". Sound familiar? ONLINE STORE Get your orders in for oysters, shucking knives, and gift certificates. Like Pacifics, they have deeply fluted, sharp, pointy shells. The Easterners seem more daring. With that, there is a certain level of consistency, quality control, and prestige. Everyone will be impressed, and you will get to enjoy one of nature's loveliest delicacies with utmost confidence. Copps Island Oysters vs Blue Point Oysters. Blue crab, oysters, and striped bass are some of the Chesapeake’s treasured species. Good for you, and good for the environment, a Choptank Sweet is the perfect oyster for any recipe that requires only the highest quality oyster i Olympias at the market and in restaurants are cultivated, mostly in the Puget Sound and British Columbia. This means that they have deep cups filled with fatty meat that has an extremely buttery finish. The amount of water, in gallons, that one adult oyster can filter in a day. Hama Hama oysters from Washington State and Colville Bay oysters from Prince Edward Island are intertidal oysters. Special Order Harris Fulls & Primes (Chesapeake Bay, MD) - Soft Salt Select Variety (West Coast, PEI, & New England) - Call for availability Blue points are great beginner oysters, as they won't overwhelm you, and go well with a classic spicy cocktail sauce or this, Pickle and Raspberry Point Oysters (Prince Edward Island, Canada), Pickle Points, and their sister oyster Raspberry Points, both come from the same cold waters off PEI. They are the only oyster native to the West Coast of the U.S. Their popularity in San Francisco during the Gold Rush almost wiped them out, and they were believed to be extinct for decades. The 8 Best Places to Buy Seafood Online in 2020, The 7 Best Lobster Delivery Services of 2020. Oysters are critical to the Chesapeake Bay’s ecosystem, so partners are working together to restore healthy populations of oysters to parts of the Bay. If you've ever looked up at a raw bar menu with trepidation, mind reeling from the possibilities, you are not alone. True Chincoteagues are long, skinny things with plenty of salinity and a sweet finish. 2500 Old House Point Road Fishing Creek, MD 21634. Yes, Blue Points, that most abused of oyster appellations. Co-Owner and Sandwich Pusher at Pop+Dutch. Olympias are sweet, coppery, and metallic. Enthusiasts correctly detect many differences between oysters grown in different parts of the harbor. Simply put, Bluepoints are a commodity** and Copps Island Oysters is a trademarked brand. Our Mission. But not just any Blue Points. After a century of exile, real Blue Points are once again growing in their ancestral home—Long Island’s Great South Bay. Two 40-foot-tall corkscrews at the entrance welcome guests to an awardwinning vineyard that specifically cultivates wines to pair with Chesapeake oysters. It turns out, there are about as many kinds of oysters as there are kinds of vegetables. Sweet Jesus Oysters are grown in the heart of the Chesapeake Bay, in St. Mary’s County, Maryland – the home of the national oyster shucking championship. Oysters in the Bay clarify the water and provide habitat for fish, blue crabs, and other marine life. We like to, Malpeque Oysters (Prince Edward Island, Canada). Wellfleets are prized in New England, New Yorkers love their Blue Points, and Kumamotos rule on the West Coast. We also shuck oysters in pint, quarts, gallon and frozen pillow pac These crisp oysters are sometimes said to taste a bit like lettuce. These medium-sized oysters are mild, pleasantly salty and very meaty. These oysters are six to seven years old at harvest, and tend to be incredibly sweet. If you get imposters, don't despair -- this is a great time to. If you get true Chincoteagues, enjoy them on the half shell. Since we know you are busy, we'll cover some of the most common East Coast oyster varieties: where they come from, what they taste like and what tastes best with them (full disclosure: sometimes the answer will be 'Nothing! The merroir of the Hollywood and Sweet Jesus Oyster is lower salinity of a Chespeake Bay oyster – enhancing the taste of the crisp, plump meat with smooth hints of cucumber finish. Part of HuffPost Food & Drink. "We ordered a dozen oysters," a loved one mentioned to us recently, "and the server asked, 'What kind?' Serve with lemon wedges and garnish with chives, if desired. A person used to be able to simply order a dozen oysters. Crassostrea Virginicas–Atlantic Oysters (Bluepoints, Wellfleets, and More), Ostrea Lurida or Ostrea Conchapila–Olympia Oysters, The 7 Best Oyster Delivery Services of 2020, Salmon, Tuna, Sardines: This Is Your Complete Canned Fish Guide. Duxbury oysters are grown in some of the coldest water in the Cape Cod bay, meaning they never go into spawn, but they do fatten up as if they are going to. Ostrea Edulis–European Flats. Just in case you want to shuck a few of your new obsession at home. OysterFinder is a complete alphabetical index of oysters in the Oyster Guide with new discoveries added regularly. Olympias make the tiny Kumamotos look like giants, often coming in about the size of a quarter. The oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay is in sharp decline, prompting state leaders to try multiple tactics to improve the species' numbers. We've all been there. While Belons are European flats, not all European flats are Belons; Belons must be grown in the Brittany region of France. Arrange oysters on a broiler pan. All rights reserved. J&W Seafood is a grower, packer and shipper of fresh wild caught oysters from the Chesapeake Bay. A summer must-do is hand picking your own hard crabs at a waterside crab house and sampling the succulent, sweet and tender crab meat. Once the most common oyster in Europe, Europeans are increasingly appreciative of Pacific oysters while Maine and Washington state oyster farms are increasingly charmed by European flats. Bottles of white, rosé and red are sampled in the Wine Stand, while the Oyster Stand dishes out Windmill Point and Kellum oysters, soft-shell crabs and other seasonal seafood. All you need is an oyster knife, a dry kitchen towel, a little patience and (duh) oysters. "New Jersey bluepoints" and "Virginia bluepoints" that can be found at ​local shops and farmers markets in these respective areas. The clearer, cleaner water can support plentiful underwa… There are just five species of oysters harvested in the U.S.; all other differences come from where they live, the water they filter, and how they're handled. Wellfleet Oyster Co.'s stand at the Provincetown farmer's market, balance their sweetness with a classic, vinegary mignonette sauce, a great time to try grilling your oysters, they are also great candidates for roasting. Spoon about 1 tablespoon crab mixture over each oyster; sprinkle each with about 1 teaspoon breadcrumb mixture. Blue Point Oysters (Long Island, NY) Flickr: T. Carrigan. An award-winning food writer and cookbook author, Molly Watson has created more than 1,000 recipes focused on local, seasonal ingredients. Overview. Kumamotos are small, sweet, almost nutty oysters characterized by their deep, almost bowl-shaped shell. Kumamotos are widely cultivated in Japan and the West Coast. Because oysters feed by filtering algae from the water, they function as a natural filter and improve water that is overloaded with nutrients. They are growing in popularity in both Europe and the West Coast, where they are starting to over-run the native Olympia. Recipes and more delivered to your inbox! Laboratory analyses released by the nonprofit group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility detected 16 different per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in the … Every oyster devotee has their favorite serving and eating methods. They spawn later and in warmer water than other oysters, so they remain firm and sweet well into summer months. They are only for advanced shuckers, however, as these pampered mollusks have very dainty shells. Blue Point-Genuine (Great South Bay) Atlantic Long Island, NY plump firm meat, very briny, savory, notes of pine & anise, sweet aftertaste Tray cultured up to 4" ... Generic for any oyster in the Chesapeake Bay up to 4" Chesapeake Gold Atlantic Chesapeake Complex, sweet flavor Tank to Floating Dock to Rack Cultivated up to 4" Named after the town of Blue Point, Long Island, these are probably the oysters you will most commonly find on the East Coast side of your raw bar. Soon, you'll be able to let your raw bar server know whether you like a small or large oyster, meaty or crisp, briny or sweet. We promise not to get too scientific on you, since we suspect that you -- like us -- are more interested in pouring oysters into your face than you are in their Latin names. The water conditions and the low population along the Bay created an ideal balance for the oysters to … These are delightful raw, but because their fat content keeps them from drying out, Quonset Point Oysters (Narragansett Bay, RI). Our Vision. J&W Seafood is one of the largest lease holders of wild caught oyster grounds. These medium-sized oysters are mild, pleasantly salty and very meaty. d. The X-axis includes data from 1700 onward, which is the earliest date for which we have much information about oyster harvesting. These oysters are known for their deep cups and meaty texture, which means they can stand up to, Chincoteague Oysters (Chincoteague Island, VA), These southerners can be tricky, as they are often impersonated. A little lemon and and a dab of horseradish should be all you need on these beauties. Kumamotos, however, were found to be their own species. Today, native oysters populations are at less than 1% of historic levels. Bottom-cultured or subtidal oysters spend their whole lives submerged. Chesapeake Bay Oyster, Apalachicola FLA, amongst others (there are many brands across the region) C. virginica —is a species of true oyster native to the eastern seaboard and Gulf of Mexico coast of North America. An oyster becomes an adult when it turns one year old and can live as long as 20 years While Belons … Besides providing seafood, oysters make waters healthier. The conditions of the Bay during that time were perfect for oysters, with the salty Atlantic Ocean water mixing with the freshwater of the rivers that emptied into the Chesapeake Bay. Eat them just how they are!'). Field and laboratory research at VIMS is key to the recent surge in oyster aquaculture in Virginia, and also underlies increasing success in restoring wild populations of the Eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica to the Chesapeake Bay.Oysters were historically one of the Bay's keystone species, filtering water and providing reef habitat for many other organisms. Named after the town of Blue Point, Long Island, these are probably the oysters you will most commonly find on the East Coast side of your raw bar. For more than a century, oysters have made up one of the region’s most valuable commercial fisheries, and the filter-feeder continues to clean our waters and offer food and habitat to other animals. A globally thriving and sustainable oyster industry. In the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, the Chesapeake Bay Program set a goal to restore reefs and populations in 10 rivers by 2025. These small, delicate oysters from calm Rhode Island waters are mild, briney and clean. Get daily tips and expert advice to help you take your cooking skills to the next level. One of the chefs Wild Divers Oyster supplies is Harley Peet, executive chef of Blue Point Hospitality Group, which owns restaurants in the Easton, Md., area, including the fine dining Bas Rouge. The name Kumamoto is so valued that Kumamotos are always labeled as such, although some places will also specify where they are from. The eastern oyster is one of the most iconic species in the Chesapeake Bay. Other notable Eastern appellations - Malpeque PEI, BluePoint (- true BluePoints from Great South Bay, LongIsland NY). Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab is iconic--and tasty! Now the bay is filtered once every two years. Salt Grass Point (Malpeque Bay, PEI) - Strong Salt Malpeque (Malpeque Bay, PEI) - Strong Salt Raspberry Point (New London Bay, PEI) - Strong Salt * THIS COLOR denotes a J.J. McDonnell Exclusive oyster. No more. Pacific oysters are small and sweet and the world's most cultivated oyster. To guide a new future for the oyster industry on the Chesapeake Bay and in coastal regions around the world. ©2020 Verizon Media. Blue Points have been a fixture on oyster menus since the early 1800s when wild oysters were harvested in Long Island's Great South Bay near the town of Blue Point, NY. Also from PEI, Malpeque oysters have very tender meat, with a nice balance of brininess and sweetness. Oysters link to tasting info and maps. At one time, there were so many oysters in the Chesapeake Bay that the waters of the entire ecosystem were filtered twice a day by the native oysters. They are dense, meaty and live in a curved, yin-yang-shaped, green shell.
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