Virginia Oysters

James River Oysters- orJR’s

James River Oysters are what we have found to be one of the two best in this area. They are harvested  from the Chesapeake Bay region off the Maryland and the Virginia coasts. They are found in the waters of the James River nearby Norfork, Virginia.

In the times of the Colonies this area thrived with a large number of oysters. The area’s oyster is coming back although not to the levels noticed during the “Old Days”.

Our other supplier for 2016, is the Bevan’s Oyster Company….

Bevan’s Oyster Company

Bevans Oyster Company is located in historic Westmoreland County Virginia, a rural Community located between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers, both tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay.

The company opened for business on October 1, 1966 by founders Ronald and Shirley Bevans and since that time the “Bevans Brand” oyster has become well known across the United States

Oysters On The Grill

Oysters can be prepared on the grill, with a soaked burlap bag or towel placed on top which will steam the oyster open. This usually takes 5 or 7 minutes. Oysters that do not open should be discarded.

After the oyster has cooled a bit, use an oysters knife or paring knife (carefully) to cut the mussel that holds the oyster to the shell. It’s ready for your favorite relish or cocktail sauce…or simply serve with saltine cracker…and a cold beer…if that’s your preference.

Traditionally we have sold a lot of the medium size James River oysters..probably because of the price..! However, if you are looking for a premium larger size oyster, I would suggest the Cavendish Cup Oysters by the box – $95. or $12.95 dozen.

oysters_10-1-16

Oyster by the Gallon

We have sold a ton of oysters over the years. Many people will call oysters_gallonfor gallon prices, which is OK, however in my opinion not necessarily the best way to purchase oysters.

Years ago when we started out in the business, we hand-dipped all of our oysters and sold pints, quarts and of course gallons. In those day a gallon would yield 4 quarts, or 8 pints. Our oysters came packed 8 lbs of oyster meat in a gallon tub. They were quite a bit cheaper then as opposed to today.

Oysters Gallons Packed By Weight?

So, why do you see such a wide price difference from store to store? Simply because stores will purchase on “price” and not quality so they can compete with other stores.

Packers pack 5, 6 and 7 pounds of oyster meat in the container before filling with oyster/water liquid. This allows them the opportunity to compete on price. Unfortunately the consumer often has the “save a buck” mind set and in not informed on this.

What’s the old saying…”You get what you pay for”..right?

A 5 lb. pack container (gallon) really yields about 2-1/2 quarts of actual oysters and would have been cheaper to buy 2 Qts. and 1 Pt. or 3 quarts to be safe and have the quantity you need. Have you ever popped the lid on a gallon of oysters and found 2 inches of liquid before you get to the oysters?

And …

then realizing that the oysters are smaller than what you see in the glass jars? Approximately 3 quarts are equivalent to a 5-6 lb pack (gallon), and you can see the oysters in that glass jar.

Know who you are dealing with and where the products are coming from. Nothing beats experience, and we’ve been hear for over 40 plus years. Oh my gosh! Well I do eat well!

East Coast – Chesapeake Bay

We use east coast oysters, usually from the James River. Seaside Salts are a great choice for a saltier taste. Aquaculture is saving the oyster population, providing a living for the water-men and is an to a sustainable future for the Chesapeake Bay.

The video is an interesting look at the behind the scenes look at both the problem and the solution for the oyster industry and the Chesapeake Bay. Enjoy…

 

Here is a recipe to serve two Mussel hungry folks!

  • In large stock pot, melt 2 tablespoon of butter, add garlic and heat mussel_dishfor around 30 seconds. Stir for a minute, after seasoning  with some red pepper flakes and some lemon zest.
  • Add 2 cups of white wine and season with black pepper, then bring to a boil. Add 2 pounds of cleaned and de-bearded mussels,  cover right away and boil for 1 minute.
  • Stir the mussels, cover and let boil for 2 minutes. The shell will begin to open, and then add 1 cup of fresh chopped parsley, cover and cook for around 1-3 minutes until all shells are open.
  • Great to serve with grilled sliced french bread and lemon wedges

I hope you have found this helpful!

 

 

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