Virginia oysters come with a variety of tastes, from the salty flavors of seaside oysters to the sweet/butter flavors of the bay and its creeks oysters. Whether seaside or from the creeks, VA oysters are becoming the culinary talk of the town. TheCommonwealth is developing the Virginia Oyster Trail that will connect producers with seafood restaurants and raw bars on the Eastern Shore and beyond.
Celebrate by heading out on the Virginia Oyster Trail, a link of coastal communities showcasing Virginia’s rich cultural and culinary heritage.
For more information, visit: www.VirginiaOysterTrail.com.
Below is a quick guide to the oyster growing regions in Virginia
Initial bold saltiness mellowing into a taste of sweet butter/cream at the finish.
2. UPPER BAY EASTERN SHORE
Classic Virginia Bay oyster flavor with balanced salt and sweet, with a savory finish.
3. LOWER BAY EASTERN SHORE
Salty and creamy with mellow sweetness and a quick finish.
4. UPPER BAY WESTERN SHORE
Sweetwater oyster with a light cream taste.
5. MIDDLE BAY WESTERN SHORE
Lightly salty with easily distinguished cream or butter and a pleasant slight minerality.
6. LOWER BAY WESTERN SHORE
Mild saltiness moving to a sweet finish.
Salty oyster with sweetness and a smooth finish.
8. TANGIER/MIDDLE BAY
Traditional Virginia Bay Oyster flavor with a balance of salt and sweet, and a savory butter/cream finish.
Virginia Oyster Month
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia is becoming the oyster capital of the East Coast, boasting seven different oyster regions which produce the largest quantity of fresh, farm-raised oysters in the United States; and
WHEREAS, in 2014 Virginia’s oyster harvest increased by 25 percent, with more than 500,000 bushels, the most in nearly a generation; and
WHEREAS, Virginia sold 39.8 million oysters in 2014, a $17 million economic impact for the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, Virginia’s sustainably-harvested oysters are ecologically-friendly, as they actively filter the water in which they are grown and remove excess nutrients, which provides habitats for other species; and
WHEREAS, the continued growth of the oyster industry and the fisheries management programs, combined with private sector investment, positively impact the Bay, consumers, and Virginia’s economy; and
WHEREAS, in 2014, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, in partnership with the Office of the Governor, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Shellfish Growers of Virginia, the Virginia Seafood Council, the Virginia Marine Products Board, the Artisans Center of Virginia, local planning district commissions, businesses, and destination marketing organizations, began developing the Virginia Oyster Trail, providing a unique and delicious way for visitors to enjoy Virginia’s seven oyster regions; and
WHEREAS, Virginia Oyster Month is an opportunity to acknowledge the significant growth in oyster harvesting and celebrate Virginia as the oyster capital of the East Coast;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize November 2015 as VIRGINIA OYSTER MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.