Where to Find the Freshest Oysters in South Florida
Oyster season is one I adhere to religiously, despite that they're safe to eat year-round. The old rule dictated that the season resides in months that end in r. With the introduction of nonspawning oysters, that rule has gone by the wayside.
Yet according to Ryan and Travis Croxton, cousins behind Rappahannock River Oyster Co. in the Chesapeake Bay, sticking to the old rule of seasonality is as much about the transporting of oysters: moving crustaceans from warm waters to a cold fridge induces stress, which also affects flavor, making them less plump and sweet.
Which is one reason why Longboards in West Palm doesn't yet stock bivalves from the Gulf. "It's too warm to harvest them yet," said my bartender. "We don't trust them yet."
This past Sunday night, I waited at the bar at Longboards as I watched a shucker open Prince Edward Island sweet Malpeques, Massachusetts salty Wellfleets, and fruity Kumamotos from Northern California for my order. At $2.50 a piece -- 50 cents more than any place I'd get them back in D.C. -- I was hoping Longboards' stock would be delightful.
And it was. A mixed dozen from cold waters smelled of the sea and basked in clear liquor elixir and a hit of lemon.
As the temperature cools up north and the oyster season progresses, I'm looking forward to expanding my repertoire of bivalves and places to eat them. Any suggestions for places to try?
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