COTUIT OYSTER - Cotuit Bay, Massachusetts, USA.
Dating back to 1857, The Cotuit Oyster Company produces one of the oldest brand name oysters in the United States. This is the only shellfish farm operating in Cotuit Bay and is currently utilizing over 33 acres of perfect oyster growing waters. There are a number of fresh water streams, marshes and estuaries that combine with clean water from Nantucket Sound and enter Cotuit Bay through the Wianno Cut and Cotuit Channel. This is the key to providing the oysters a rich and diverse food supply. It starts with oyster seed that is a tiny 1-4mm in size. This seed is placed into a Floating Upweller System or “Flupsy” to provide a safe, predator free environment for the oyster to flourish, often increasing in size as much as 4-10 times in one week depending on the season. When the seed reaches about a half-inch in size, it is transplanted by hand into the floating cages. This is a necessary step for oysters coming out of the Flupsy as the seed is still vulnerable to predators like crabs, whelks and oyster drills. The floating cages will hold seed for several weeks to months as they tap into the nutrient and oxygen-rich surface water which enable the oysters to grow very fast. Once the oysters have graduated from the floating bags, a variety of farming systems are used to complete the grow-out. Racks with bags on top, stackable cages, trays and predator exclusion fencing on the bottom are all utilized. A Cotuit Oyster is well known and demanded by oyster enthusiasts in many parts of the world for its naturally briny, Cape Cod flavors and perfectly, palatable half shell size, 2 1/2 - 3."