Great Gun Oysters from East Moriches, NY
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Available for a limited time only.
Farmer: Paul McCormick
Location: East Moriches, NY
How They’re Grown: The Guns spend their summer and fall in floating bags on single time trawls where they are shaken vigorously to prune the shells and plump the cups. When the change in seasons brings the winter freeze, the bags are sunk to the bottom to stay safe away from any incoming ice. While there, they will be flipped and tended to regularly to avoid getting covered in soft sand. In March the bags will rise again! This time relying only on the action of the waves to continue pruning the shells. The guns can range from 9 to 20 months old at the time of harvest.
How They Taste: Salty, savory and rich, with an insanely sweet finish, like candied spring carrots. Mild aftertaste that reminds me of summer in the Hamptons!
Why They’re Unique: This was the first licensed shellfish farm in Moriches Bay! The exact site of the farm was also leased back in the 1800’s to oyster farmers raising seed to be sent back to the Great South Bay for grow out. In other words, this spot is old school.
Story: Paul started as a clammer in the 1990s, and in a story parallel to our own Skip Bennett, decided to pivot when faced with continually diminishing wild stocks. He didn’t turn to oysters immediately; in fact he stayed off the water for almost 20 years but always longed to return. After reconnecting with some old baymen friends and hearing about small-scale oyster farming beginning to take place in NY, he knew this was his was back to the water. In 2013, he established the Great Gun Oyster Farm, named for the Great Gun Beach on Fire Island, located just across the bay.