Product #: 33030BS
Scientific Name: Crassostrea virginica
Country of Origin: United States
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Harvested along the entire east coast of the US and Canada, eastern oysters take on the flavors of the waters around them, thus oysters are often named by their origin. Salinity is the biggest factor, but temperature can affect their size and texture as well. Eastern oysters tend to be salty and meaty.
Eastern oysters are found along the Atlantic coast of North America and throughout the Gulf of Mexico.
Eastern oysters are both wild harvested (primarily in the Gulf of Mexico) and farmed (primarily along the Atlantic coast of the U.S. and Canada). Many wild populations have decline substantially due to habitat loss, coastal pollution, and overharvest. Now wild oyster harvest is regulated to conserve what remains and in some areas wild beds are being rehabilitated to increase populations. Wild oysters are harvested with dredges or tongs, which is a fairly gentle method. Farmed oysters are usually raised in bags or racks or attached to ropes in their native habitats. Oysters are filter feeders, removing excess nutrients and particulate matter from the water as they feed, actually improving water quality in the surrounding area.
Beausoleils are farmed in floating trays in Miramichi Bay, New Brunswick, which is about as far north as you can push a Virginica oyster (only Caraquet is farther). Suspended just below the surface, gently jostled by the waves, they never touch the sea floor. Half the year they grow in floating bags near the surface, enjoying as much warmth and food as the Canadian coast has to offer. When Canadaâ€™s dark winter sets in, they are suspended in deeper waters to ride out the ice. Because of their carefully controlled, rocking, uncrowded environment, Beausoleil shells are always perfect. Not bigâ€”it still takes them four years to reach a 2.5-inch cocktail sizeâ€”but well groomed, and so uniform they almost look stamped out by machine. The white shells have a classy black crescent. The flavor is refined and light, like a Caraquet, but with a bit more brine, and something of the yeasty warm-bread aroma you get with good Champagne.
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