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Summer BFFs: Totten Inlet Virginica Oysters and Blanc

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Summertime … and the living is easy.


Oysters are jumpin’ and the cotton is high …


All right, I know the real lyric is “catfish,” but it should be oysters—they are indeed the perfect summer slurp.


Be on the lookout for the new kids in town: Totten Inlet Virginicas. I like to refer to them as the “Hottentot” oysters, because eating one of these is akin to taking a creamy bite out of a can-can dancer’s thigh.


Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks so. These bi-valve babies won first place in the East Coast Shellfish Association’s 1st annual Oyster Challenge in Rhode Island, a fiercely competitive taste test-drive of all the Eastern Seaboard’s finest.


Up against nineteen other varieties in a blind judging, the Virginicas trounced the others purely on taste. Rowan Jacobsen, author of The Geography of Oysters and one of the event’s celebrity judges, had this to say, “You don’t usually see all of that fruitiness and body in a virginica. To me, the superiority of the Totten’s flavor was stunning.” Indeed.  


Taste them for yourself at Grand Central Station’s Oyster Bar in Manhattan, a classic seafood restaurant that is the domain of the expert oceanic culinarian, Executive Chef, and really nice guy, Chef Sandy Ingber.  


Consider a summer BBQ with a little sophistication and class this year. Bypass the frankfurters and Bud, and slurp down some mermaid on the half shell, followed by a crisp swallow of my favorite oyster wine—Covey Run ’06 Fumé Blanc. De-Vine! Dry Creek of Sonoma (Sauvignon Blanc ’06) is also lovely.


You can order order the Tottens online and they will arrive at your door, fresh and sweet.


Photo courtesy of Jon Rowley

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