The Future of New England Seafood

Local oysters deliver a taste of place

Barnstable police say they have identified the culprit in last summer's string of oyster farm robberies. Photo credit: Chefs Collaborative

We’ve come across a few oyster-related items so we thought we’d put them together to share today. Maybe we can consider it an early Valentine’s Day post?

First comes a new report from our friends at Chefs Collaborative which explores “oyster culture” in several regions around the U.S. The report explains the importance of “taste of place” (or terroir) that causes each oyster-producing region to develop different oyster flavors. It also looks into the different harvesting and farming techniques used and how human activity on land and at sea can affect oysters and thus the ecosystem. Quotes from oystermen and chefs show the connection restaurants make for their customers to the food in their local region.

Did you know you can keep oysters alive in a root cellar over the winter? In a recent Local Food Report, Elspeth Hay talks to oysterman Jim O’Connell from Wellfleet, Mass about this technique of “oyster pitting” (storing oysters in a pit). Jim describes how he watches the weather carefully and when it looks like it will be cold enough to produce ice on the bay, he pulls up his gear, and his 250,000 oysters, and stacks them on shelves in his cellar. Listen in to Elspeth’s story for more info on this old tradition.

To find a restaurant that serves local seafood, you can use Chefs Collaborative’s local food search.


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