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Oysters Taste Like the Sea

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 Thanks to my friends at JJ McDonnell (Kurt Friesland, Steve Vilnit and George McManus) for inviting me to one of their educational seminars for friends, chefs and restaurateurs. Wednesday morning at Oceanaire in Baltimore close to 50 of us gathered for a class and tasting of oysters from Canada (Pangea) and Rappahannock River in Virginia.

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It’s never too early in the a.m. to sample oysters from Virginia’s Travis and Ryan Croxton. Their Rappahannock River Oysters have brought back regional pride to the bay’s favorite briny delicacy. Sauce on the Side friend Melissa McCart at Counter Intelligence tells their story in a fine read in her Washington Post story that you can see they placed strategically on the table.

My favorite on this day was the return of one of the old favorites (gone for eight decades) … the Lynnhaven oyster sold as the Witch Duck. Grown by local oyster farmer Cameron Chalmers, Witch Ducks offer up the simple salty taste of the Bay. The taste thing about oysters is quite simply stated by author Rowan Jacobsen in his A Geography of Oysters: "Oysters taste like the sea."

foto: Ryan and Travis Croxton

About the Author

Michael Birchenall is Editor and Publisher of Foodservice Monthly, a regional trade publication covering the foodservice industry of the Mid-Atlantic (DE, DC, MD, VA). Foodservice Monthly has been recognized as the Restaurant Association of Maryland's Allied Industry Member of the Year and by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington as the Joan Hisaoka Associate Member of the Year.

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