Oyster lovers rejoice! The days of waiting for the delectable
mollusks to be harvested in the fall are over. The Delaware Bay area in
Southern New Jersey is home to a thriving oyster industry, known for producing
some of the world’s most highly favored shellfish delicacies year-round: fresh
oysters known as Cape May Salts.
The mouth-watering Cape May Salts are harvested only miles from
the restaurants where the oysters are served. Luckily for oyster connoisseurs,
Cape May Salts can be shipped to every corner of the world from local fishermen
or restaurants. Despite the oyster’s succulent taste and availability, many
visitors to Cape May are largely unaware of the shellfish farms in their
backyards, making it one of the country’s best hidden gems.
Oyster farmers use the French method of “rack and bag” where
shellfish seeds are cultivated inside mesh bags while the nutritious water is
heavily monitored. The mollusks grow up to three inches larger than an average
The history of Cape May Salts dates back to the Native
Americans who would feast on the tasty residents until the late 1800s.
Eventually, settlers moved into the land and harvested the oysters themselves.
Oysters rose in prominence among saloons and taverns and are still largely
favored by locals. The revival of the oyster industry in Cape May played a key
role in the development of disease-resistant oyster seeds after years of
research and experiments by nearby Rutgers University.
The next time you’re at a local seafood restaurant, look for
“Cape May Salts” and get a taste of one of Southern New Jersey’s natural
wonders. Remember to order a glass of white wine or a cold beer to go with your
oysters, and come anytime: Cape May’s restaurant doors are open for you