Learn how to shuck oysters

August 26, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
It's oyster season! Learn how easy it is to shuck, prepare, and eat this local shellfish. Leigh Glaser visits with John Finger, owner of Hog Island Oyster Company.

About Hog Island Oyster Company:
Raising Hog Island Oysters: Hog Island Oyster Company raises over 3 million oysters per year on 160 inter-tidal growing leases in Tomales Bay; leased from the California Department of Fish and Game. Hog Island Oyster varieties include the Pacific (aka Hog Island Sweetwater), Atlantic and Kumamoto oysters and Hog Island Manila clams and mussels.

From start to finish it takes ~18 months to raise a premium Hog Island Pacific oyster and 2-3 years to raise Hog Island Atlantic and Kumamoto oysters. Throughout this cycle a dedicated farm crew monitors and tends the oysters for optimum growth, health, shape and flavor. Hog Island oysters feed on minerals, algae and phytoplankton found naturally in the bay's ecosystem. "By the time are oysters are ready for market they have been literally hand raised by us and mother-nature" says Terry Sawyer co-owner, Hog Island Oyster Co.

Quality, Safety & Sustainability:

Hog Island is a sustainable mariculture farm that is proud to raise oysters and bivalves recognized for their environmental and health benefits. Oysters filter-feed on algae and microorganisms from the bay's ecosystem. A single oyster can filter upwards of 50 gallons of water per day, leaving the bay clean and clear for sunlight to enter and sea plants to grow, increasing the Bay's over all health and biodiversity.

After oysters are harvested they are placed in saltwater holding tanks, designed by Hog Island. The tanks pipe water from the bay through a state-of-the-art UV sterilization & chiller system to purify the water and keep it at an optimum temp for the oysters (50 d). The tanks are essentially an 'oyster spa' providing newly harvested oysters a place to purge, clean and relax in a chilled saltwater bath; allowing Hog Island to deliver a clean, safe oyster experience every time.

Healthy, fresh oysters are a benefit to our health as well. Oysters are rich in potassium and zinc, and vitamins a, b-12, c, d and omega-3s. A 3 ½ ounce serving of oysters is 69 calories, 2.5 mg of fat and .44 mg of omega-3.

Farm to Plate:

Hog Island Oyster Company is the only oyster farm in North America that owns and operates their own Oyster Bars in major cities. A farm-to-market fresh seafood experience was the owners' founding mission. In 2003, the partner's launched their first oyster bar in San Francisco in the Ferry Plaza Market Building and took their mission a step further to a farm-to-plate seafood experience. Hog Island Oyster Bar has received awards and recognition for serving some of the finest oysters on the west coast. Five years later, in 2008, Hog Island launched its second Oyster Bar in the Oxbow Public Market, Napa CA where premium California Oysters meet and mingle with premium California wines.

Hog Island retail locations include: Hog Island Oyster Farm - picnic, to go and mail order shipping. Hog Island Oyster Bars in San Francisco & Napa. Hog Island Farmers Markets in San Francisco & Berkeley. Hog Island Traveling Oyster Bars - available for any special event, anywhere USA. Hog Island also sells oysters and Manila clams direct to a select group of restaurants and retailers in the Bay Area and East Coast.

Location:
Napa Oxbow Public Market
610 First Street
Napa, CA, 94559
(707) 251-8113
Hours Tue-Thur 11:30-8
Fri/Sat 11:30-9
Sun/Mon 11:30-6
Happy Hours Tue-Wed 5-7
www.hogislandoysters.com

About The Napa Fresh Aire Festival:
John will be participating in The Napa Fresh Aire Festival on August 28-30 (to be held throughout the town of Napa) is a new kind of festival-offering an inspiring weekend of engaging programs and outdoor activities focused on personal well-being and eco-conscious living. Attendees will receive fresh perspectives, invigorating experiences, and timely and valuable information.

www.NapaFreshAireFest.com
888.285.5893

TICKET PRICES:

· Three-Day Fresh Aire Pass: $110 - includes all programs, Friday showing of FRESH the movie-in association with the Napa Valley Film Society and sponsored by Whole Foods, Saturday Juber concert and Sunday keynote Dan Buettner

· Friday-Only Pass: $99 - includes the Friday program with FRESH the movie

· Saturday-Only Pass: $99 - includes the Saturday program with Juber concert

· Saturday Evening Laurence Juber In Concert: $30 (included in Three-Day or Saturday-Only Passes)

· Special activity tickets also are available for special lunches, wine panel discussion and tasting, hike and bike excursions, kayaking and more. For information: www.napafreshairefest.com .

· Also, visit festival partners Pharmaca® and Whole Foods to learn about special rates on festival passes!


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