This winter HOF is sending its oysters to J.P.'s Shellfish which is based out of Eliot, ME. HOF has just been featured in their weekly newsletter. Here's what they had to say:
is with great pride that we introduce our newest
offering...Behold! Honeysuckle oysters (Crassostrea virginica)!
Honeysuckle Oyster Farm is located within the protected confines of
Martha's Vineyard's Katama Bay...Does that body of water sound
familiar? I thought it might! You may know our Katama Bay (http://jpshellfish.com/katama_bay_oysters.php) and Sweet Neck Farm (http://jpshellfish.com/sweet_neck_farm_oysters.php)
oysters which are both sourced from the same estuary. It bears mention
that all three of these varieties are farm-raised in an environmentally
sustainable manner, and that if Cheffy has a "green" agenda, any or all
of these would be excellent choices to complement his or
her ecologically sound menu. Now then...The Honeysuckle Farm
oysters start out as 1.5 millimeter seed stock which is sourced through a
certified Maine hatchery. These tiny oysters are introduced to Katama
Bay in early summer, and are kept in an upweller, which essentially acts
as a floating nursery. Throughout the summer months, a constant flow
of nutrient rich water is pumped through the upweller, and the fledgling
oysters feed constantly. By the time August rolls around, the
Honeysuckle Farm oysters will have attained a size of roughly an inch in
diameter, and they are transferred to a suspension culture comprised of
trays and cages. The oyster are regularly pulled from the Honeysuckle
Farm lease (KB-11), removed from the cages, and given
a little spin in a semi-submerged tumbler (Which happens to be powered
by a wind turbine...Remember the whole environmentally sustainable
aspect of the farm?). This tumbling process is terrifically effective
in terms of removing any bio-fouling while simultaneously chipping off
new shell growth. Now why would anyone want to chip away the shell?
Isn't the whole point to get the oysters to market size as soon as
possible? Well...Yes, and no...Chipping away irregular growth helps to
strengthen the valves (shells) while increasing the degree of
consistency in shape amongst the oysters. Additionally, this chipping
process facilitates greater cup definition, and who doesn't love that?
Soooo...It's a trade off...The oysters take a little longer to reach
market size, but when they do, they are incredibly consistent in terms
of size and shape. The ends justify the means. This process is
repeated until the Honeysuckle Farm oysters reach +/- three and a half
inches in length, at which time they are given a final grade, and are
then sprayed with a pressure-washer. The pressure-washer removes any
stubborn bits of bio-fouling which might spoil an otherwise perfect
oyster experience. Additionally, this step will allow Cheffy to
straight from the box (More about that later!) to the plate without and
scrubbing, cleaning, etc. required. The Honeysuckle Farm oysters are
then carefully hand-packed (cup-side-down) by the 100-count in 100%
recyclable wax-alternative boxes. How much greener could it be? The
answer is none...None more green. After packaging, the oysters are
whisked from Martha's Vineyard to our Eliot, Maine distribution facility
before making their way to you. As with the Katama Bays and Sweet
Necks, the flavor profile of the Honeysuckle Farm oysters is driven by a
high salinity. This is largely due to the fact that Martha's Vineyard
is situated pretty much in the open ocean, and Katama Bay is twice daily
purged by the highly-brined waters of Nantucket Sound. On a personal
note, I consider the Martha's Vineyard oysters to be a purists
ideal. If there is a "hint of melon", "grass like finish", or other
flavors associated with the M.V. oysters, they are lost on my palate.
These oysters lead with a brininess which has all the subtlety of David
Lee Roth, and close with a clean, bright, simple sugar finish.
Pre-orders are strongly encouraged.
Order early! Order often!
Please contact us for further clarification on the aforementioned or any other J.P.'s Shellfish product or service. Thank you.
James A. King