We are proud to announce that we will once again be sourcing Caraquet oysters (Crassostrea virginica). Conventional wisdom dictates that this particular variety of oyster leaves something to be desired in terms of availability during the winter months. Our Caraquets are harvested from Chaleur Bay, which is located on the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick, Canada (47’ 48” North Latitude; 64’ 57” West Longitude).
Unlike oyster beds located in the waters to the south (which may or may not freeze over during winter, and if they do freeze, it is not necessarily for an extended period of time), it is a foregone conclusion that the waters of Caraquet Bay will freeze. But fear not! We’ll have your oysters. Our Caraquets are harvested by a single family that has been fishing oysters on the North side of the Bay (more specifically, Wind Mill Point) for eight generations (since 1770).
The Caraquet Bays are classified as “small choice” oysters. So what exactly does that mean? Well, by “small”, we are talking about roughly two and a half to three (or so) inches in diameter. Fairly straight forward. Nice half-shell size. Now about the “choice” part…Oysters are typically classified as either choice or standard, and these qualifiers refer to the shape of the shell. The highly sought after choice oyster is very much your dictionary definition oyster. The top shell is flat and the bottom shell deeply cupped (the better to hold the liquor). Often times, oysters that are destined to be choice are “chipped” or “flaked” during the grow out. In these instances, the thin new shell growing around the edges of the oyster shell is actually broken off, encouraging the oyster to grow deeper, rather than wider. In a standard oyster, these desirable attributes will not be as pronounced as in their choice brethren.