Our farm-raised Mystic oysters (Crassostera virginica) are grown out in and harvested from the nutrient rich waters off of Noank, Connecticut (N 41.33/W 71.99), and are some of the finest specimens I have ever seen from this region. Why? Not unlike Olympia beer…”It’s the water”.
The Long Island Sound and Block Island Sound converge right here off of southeastern Connecticut, and these two prevailing currents provide the nutrients and warmth to the waters off of Noank…And our Mystic oysters! The fishery which produces our Mystic oysters also has two hatcheries (Noank, CT and Southold, NY), which provide the seed stock which will become the Mystics (as well as supplying other premier growers throughout the region…Perhaps most notably, Westerly Rhode Island’s Jeff Gardner, farmer of our Watch Hill variety). At any rate…The tiny Mystics leave the hatchery at the tender age of six (or so) months, and are transported to the protected confines of a series of upwellers, where they remain for another two to four months.
After the Mystics attain a diameter of roughly and inch, they are removed from the upwellers, in order to make way for new stock from the hatcheries. At this stage, the Mystics are rolled (effectively manicuring them, facilitating consistency in shape and promoting greater cup definition), and graded for size. After the grading, each Mystic is hand planted on the hard-packed sand floor of the ocean, and over the next two years, the oysters finish their grow out, eventually attaining a size of three-and-a-quarter to three-and-a-half inches.
The Mystics are then harvested, and rolled and graded yet again before being placed and held in a series of racks and cages off of Ram Island, where they remain until harvest (which occurs 12 months a year). The bottom valve of the Mystic oysters are deep cupped and scalloped, while the top is remarkably flat. From the top, the Mystics almost resemble a Belon oyster. Meats are full and firm, and possess a medium salinity which you can set your watch by. Let your soul and spirit fly into the Mystic.