Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New Oyster in Town

Black Restaurant Group (BRG) has teamed up with the Rappahannock Oyster Company to bring a  new Virginia oyster variety to the market.  Working with Rappahannock's Travis and Ryan Croxton, BRG is now offering Old Black Salt Oysters.  The area of harvest was hand selected by the BRG team and Croxtons to produce oysters that had not been available prior to this corporation.

Old Black Salt oysters are harvested in the Black Narrows, a tight waterway running to the west of Chincoteague Island, VA.  This area is known to have heavy gusts and treacherous swells that provide the oysters growing there with an influx of nutrients and minerals.  The Old Black Salt oysters are one of the saltiest oysters available on the market today, with a salt content of 33ppt.  To put this in perspective, ocean water is around 35ppt.  Along with that fist of salt, Old Black Salts are balanced with a buttery nuance that is typical of Chesapeake oysters.  These oysters are one of kind for their salt and mineral content and really stand out when it comes to local oysters.  Eating one will surprise you and have you thinking that you have been transported to the Canadian Provinces.  It's really amazing how salty a VA oyster can be when farmers put this much thought and effort in selecting the best areas to grow oysters.

The benefits of creating our own signature oysters are not only for our customers; the Chesapeake Bay also benefits.  With our combined effort, the team will seed the water with over 2 million oysters yearly.  Old Black Salts are triploids, meaning that they grow fast and the crop will be rotated more often.  The shells from our oyster sales will be collected and replanted into the Bay in order to provide new oysters with substrate on which to grow.  Old Black Salts are Virginia's newest and saltiest gems.  They are handcrafted oysters produced by artisans and represent the tastiest way for locals to enjoy the merrior of our great Bay.  Eat local, buy local, farm local.  The next time you are in Blacks Bar and Kitchen, BlackSalt, Republic or Pearl Dive and are craving oysters, don't get too caught up in the exotic oysters available that you overlook the incomparable delicacies freshly harvested right in your backyard.




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