The Damn Yankee Sampler is a great way to try out a few different varieties at once! This go 'round, we have three of the most famous oyster towns in MA represented. I can't remember the last time we had this combination - very special! You'll get a dozen of each of the following varieties:
(12) Island Creeks
Farmer: Skip Bennett (Founder of Island Creek Oysters) and a small group of Duxbury growers
Location: Duxbury, MA
Farming Technique: Island Creeks are nurtured in our hatchery for three months, grown in floating upwellers for three months, and put in a rack and bag system for three months. For the last twelve months of the grow-out process, they are bottom planted "free range" on the mud flats of Duxbury Bay.
Unique Factor: Duxbury Bay has drastic 12 foot tides, which brings lots of new water loaded with food (algae) into the Bay, giving the oysters their unique, complex flavor.
Salinity: We'd give these a 6 out of 10 with lots of brine - brine being salt's earthy, more full flavored cousin.
Flavor Notes: The quintessential East Coast oyster experience. With a highly segmented flavor profile, strong salinity up front gives way to vegetal, buttery richness and a long sweet finish. It doesn't get any better than this. These complex flavors are attributed to a life spent on the ocean floor, dug into the mineral rich mud of Duxbury Bay.
Farmer: Stephen Wright, John Richards
Location: Chatham, MA
Farming Technique: Most of the Chatham oysters are grown in the traditional rack and bag method, suspended on rebar racks just above the sea floor. The only problem is that the winter ice has a tendency to pick these racks up and move them wherever they want—without telling anybody. We’re able to offer these oysters year-round, however, because they plant a small number directly on the bottom—free range oysters.
Unique Factor: Quality is what sets the Chathams apart. Everything about them—flavor, texture, shell thickness, cup depth, shuckability, cull—is pitch perfect.
Salinity: 100% clean, pure, salt on these puppies - around a 8 out of 10 - think big waves and big sharks.
Flavor Notes: The Chathams are a classic Cape Cod oyster. They have very defined stages to their flavor profile—a big burst of salt up front, vegetables in the middle, and a sweet finish. They have a firm texture and a well-defined abductor muscle that gives you something to bite into.
Farmer: Barbara and Clint Austin, Mike Devasto and a handful of other growers
Location: Wellfleet, MA
Size: A perfectly petite oyster from Wellfleet Ma
Farming Technique: Grown at the mouth of a creek running from a salt pond, these oysters are placed in bags on racks on the bottom for grow-out. Combined with big, fast moving tides this provides a crisp and clean shot of ocean in every swig.
Unique Factor: Wellfleet is a famous oyster town; however, there are nearly a hundred small growers in Wellfleet and their oysters span the full gamut in terms of quality and taste. Wellfleets are the best at providing an esteemed, notorious and classic New England oyster experience. They are a standby on any oyster platter--like the ex that you just keep coming back to time and again. They never get old.
Salinity: Wellfleets are well known for their high salinity and their clean, simple finish.
Flavor Notes: High salt, briny splash of crisp mineral water.