At Big Island Aquaculture, sample our oysters and you'll understand why professional tasters refer to them as the quintessential oyster.
It's not an accident that our oysters are so delicious. We wanted to share just why that is.
Location, Location, Location
When Bruce and Cathy Vogt bought their home in Hayes, Virginia, they were looking for a waterfront spot with room for their horses. What they didn't realize was just how perfect their geography was to growing the tastiest oysters in a region known for its seafood.
The 40 acres and 3,600 feet of shoreline that is home to Big Island Aquaculture overlooks Munday's Creek, the York River, and Mobjack Bay. Across the shore from the Vogt living room is Big Island, once the home of guinea watermen who made their living selling these wonderful briny oysters that they deemed the best tasting in the Chesapeake Bay. The convergence of the various bodies of water produces the ideal balance of sweet and salty - a beautiful, clean oyster that can't be replicated.
Make no mistake, the bottom of any waterbody is gritty, muddy, or sandy as it should be, but you don't want to be crunching on dirt or sand when biting into an oyster. That's among the reasons Big Island Aquaculture uses floating cages to grow its oysters. By doing so, they prevent mud, grit, or sand from affecting the quality and flavor of the oyster. Our oysters are grown on the surface, at the top of the water column, inside floating cages - which make for a cleaner tasting oyster (in addition to eliminating crunch!) The sandy sea bottom is a place for your feet - not the oysters on your plate.
All of our oysters are sustainably grown from the farm to your table, part of our commitment to support the Chesapeake Bay restoration. We return any used shells to the water, to rebuild the oyster reefs, which have their own ecosystem. But truth be told, oysters don’t need a lesson in ecology from us. They’re filter feeders on their own. One oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water every day, which means they remove excess nitrogen from the water, along with plankton and algae, reducing carbon dioxide levels as well as the risk of ocean acidification. That improves water quality and conditions for the overall health of the Bay.
Not Just Good, But Good for You!
You'll find protein, vitamins, minerals, and even antioxidants in our oysters. They're particularly rich in vitamins D, B3, B6, B12, and C; minerals zinc, iron, and copper while also being a source of phosphorus and magnesium. They're also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids!
Great for your heart, your brain, and your overall well being. How wonderful to get healthier by eating something that tastes so good!