Available for a limited time only.
Farmer: A dedicated group of Maine fisherman
Location: The bays and coves of Harpswell, Maine
What you get: 25 Belons
How they’re grown: Belons require some extra attention because they’re much more delicate than other oysters. They grow wild and are hand-dragged by local fishermen, and each one needs to be banded shut by hand, like a lobster claw, to keep the shells closed and liquor from leaking out.
How they taste: Taste-wise, Belons are guaranteed to provide a memorable experience, whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em. Potent salt upfront is followed by a coppery, metallic finish, almost like someone slapped an Abe Lincoln on your tongue. Rowan Jacobsen, author of The Essential Oyster says, “Belons are the ‘Sean Penn’ of oysters: memorable and intense, but perhaps too much for every day.”
Why they’re unique: Belons (Ostrea Edulis) are a different species than our homegrown Island Creek variants (Crassostrea virginica) and are the only non-Virginica oyster grown on the Eastern Seaboard.
Story: Originally known as European Flats, Belons (named after the river in France that grows them), were introduced to the Harpswell region during a University of Maine experiment in the 1950s. The farming experiment was ultimately abandoned because the scientists saw no immediate results, but a few decades later the Belons had reproduced and were thriving in the wild in places like the Damariscotta River and Casco Bay. The native Belons that exist in Maine today have genetically evolved to survive in frigid waters and grow wherever they please but usually prefer shallow, rocky bays.