If you have your heart set on a true large choice oyster…I have two words for you. Flying Point. The spat which will become Flying Point oysters (Crassostrea virginica) are started in a series of upwellers located off of Freeport, Maine’s where the Royal River empties into Maquoit Bay (N 43’84”/W 70’02”), and a ceaseless flow of cold, briny, seawater is delivered to the pristine estuary via the Gulf of Maine. These upwellers contain pumps which draw nutrient rich waters up from the depths to feed the hungry little oysters. Not only do the upwellers provide the oysters with nourishment, they also take the oysters out of harms way, as well as keeping them corralled. Once the Flying Points reach an inch and a half or so in length, they are removed from the protective confines of the upwellers, and are then planted on the hard-packed floor of the bay. This bottom culture facilitates thickening of the valves (shells), which pays off dividends when it comes time for shucking. Shells of the Flying Points are robust and chip/splinter resistant, and should go a long ways in helping even the greenest raw bar staff put together an aesthetically pleasing presentation. Shells of the Flying Points are bright, clean, and are virtually devoid of any bio-fouling. A quick rinse and or a gentle scrub might be in order prior to serving, but that should be the extent of it…But that should be more or less to be expected of any oyster which spends an appreciable time in a bottom culture. So back to where we began…The Flying Points are large-ish…I’m talking three and a half or so inches in length. It bears mention that there is a finite number of these available on a weekly basis, and as such, pre-orders are greatly encouraged. The Flying Points meats are as impressive as their shells. Full bodied and plump, they will work equally as well the half shell or in any hot application. Flavor wise…This time of year the Flying Points have a mild salinity and a clean fading finish. As the weeks go on, expect more brine up front and a simple sugar finish (as the oysters rebuild their glucose reserves).
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