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Farmer: Smokey McKeen
Location: Damariscotta River, Maine
Farming Technique: Other than Duxbury Bay, the Damariscotta is one of the few growing areas on the East Coast where bottom-planting is the norm. That does two things: it makes the farmer's life significantly more difficult and imparts tons of awesome sea-vegetable and earthy flavor! These oysters are harvested after two years on the bottom and moved into floating baskets near the cold, salty mouth of the Damariscotta to condition before shipping.
Unique Factor: These are the famous Pemaquid oysters. Their reputation precedes them and their name is bigger than their production, which means they are pretty scarce. It is not common practice for Mainers to sell their good product out of state. Lucky for you, we pulled some strings.
Salinity: We'd give these a 7 out of 10 (a bit saltier than the Island Creeks)
Flavor Notes: Mostly due to age and the immense care the Pemquid guys give to the process of farming these--bottom planting and cold water finishing--the most remarkable quality of these oysters is their texture. They are plump, firm, and crisp.