Sips and Slurps @ Newport Oyster Festival
Thank god for a warm week in New England and a bit of sunshine - does that ever compliment a few oysters and champs!
Apparently the oyster offering for the Newport Festival doubled in size this year so I cannot wait for what next year brings to the shucking table.
A series of Rhode Island's finest oysters lined the tents including Watch Hill Oysters, 401 Oyster Company, Aquidneck Oysters, Behan Family Farm, East Beach Blondes, Chessawanock Island Oyster, Jonathan Island Oyster Co., Matunuck Oyster Bar and Farm, Moonstone Oysters, Ocean State Shellfish Co-Op, Rocky Rhode Oysters, Salt Pond Oysters, and Walrus and Carpenter Oysters.
We hustled around at the crack of 11 and had a few from each farmer. It still amazes me how every oyster I'll ever taste has a distinct flavor and story behind it.
$25 gets you in the door with 4 free oysters and a drink. Certainly four bivalves are never enough for me, so onward we went racking up tix and a mountain of shells.
Speaking of shells, this festival wasn't just about a warm summer day for people in linens to have a farm-to-half shell experience. All the discarded shells will be recycled to restore Rhode Island's oyster reefs, which support a greater ecosystem for developing fish and other wildlife, not to mention the oyster population itself, which improves water clarity and quality. That's a large part of why eating oysters give me all the "feels".
Thanks Moët/Belvedere and East Coast Brewing for getting us all glossed over, and all the oyster farmers who I pried stories from... which gives me a lot to follow up on later.