Oysters Martha's Vineyard (Massachusetts)

Product #: 33030M

Scientific Name: Crassostrea virginica

Country of Origin: US

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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.

The Chillmark Oyster from Martha's Vineyard has unique story. They were shut down for a few years until Super Storm Sandy changed the topography of the inlet where they are harvested from. This changed the salinity slightly and brought back to life an oyster that was once revered for it's sweet flavor. Chillmark's are only available for a short time each winter.

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