Jennifer and Scott Mullin started Scorton Creek Oysters when they graduated from college in 1996. People all over the world have savored the plump oysters from the Mullin's three acre farm in Barnstable. During a visit, the Mullins showed Our Wicked Fish, Inc., the demanding and laborious process of cultivating oysters (See Oysters Are A Bargain for photos and details).
Scorton Creek Oysters is a true family business that showcases their passion for shellfish aquaculture. The two youngest Mullins, Dierdre and Brenna, are hands-on with all aspects of the business and are learning the ins and outs from their parents. While growing oysters is risky operation-there is the constant threat of disease, bad weather, bad seed and oyster theft-the Mullins find it incredibly rewarding. "We're providing food and not depleting a resource...we're repopulating the harbor and using a natural resource sustainably...We'll be doing this until our backs won’t let us!"
"What should people know about oysters?"
Where they are from. Jennifer explained that if the vendor doesn't know, they probably aren't the best, or worse, they could be stolen oysters.
The phrase "only eat oysters in the months ending in 'r'" is a bunch of seagull poop. "Maybe if the oyster came from down south," they said "But up here, the water is always cold enough. Good oysters can be found all year."
While oysters use to be considered a fall and winter treat, they are now in demand all year round. Diploid oysters spawn in the summer which leads them to be low in meat but the non-spawning triploids are sold by many farms in the summer, and they're tasty!
You want one with a deep cup. When it comes to flavor, every farm's oyster tastes slightly different but "They're all good," says Jennifer.
Eat more oysters! They are great for your health, the environment, and for the industry, "The more people eating oysters, even if they aren't ours, the better."
- They're a bargain! It may take over a year for an oyster to reach market size. They may be small but they require constant handling and care. Growers are usually limited to visiting the farm for only a few hours when the tide is low. Sometimes that means working before dawn and after dusk. With all this time and effort invested in them, no wonder they're so delicious-buy them and enjoy them!
Scorton Creek Oysters is always expanding their business. There's a possibility Scorton Creek Oysters will soon provide farm tours. If you would like a tasting now, you can get in touch with the Mullins to see where their oysters are currently being sold. Better yet, stir up the courage and ask your local fish market to provide Scorton Creek Oysters.
Learn. Share. Eat!