Comfort & Joy
Out oyster stew - made with local bivalves - will bowl you over in cold weather months.
The Fall months, September, October, November, December—and so on until March—have a delicious somethin’-somethin’ in common. Each month contains the letter “r.” Why is this delicious? Folklore allows us to eat oysters during these months, eschewing the warmer weather days from May through August. Although oysters are abundant and edible year round, summer is spawning season, and their little quivery bodies use up a lot of their energy to carry on the family name, leaving them often spent and a bit shrively. In cooler weather, oysters fatten up, like many of us do during winter hibernation, and they become plump and plentiful.
In Virginia, oysters can be found off the Atlantic Coast, across the Chesapeake Bay and in the Bay’s tributaries. Where an oyster lives determines a few things; much like wine grapes, the terroir, or environment, affects flavor. Seaside oysters, growing right on the ocean, are saltier, generally, than oysters up a river, like the Rappahannock. Oysters from on or near the Bay can have a salt level someplace in between.