I have spent my whole life around water, growing up on a lake in Northern Michigan and learning to scuba dive at age 13. But until I moved to California, I had never seen the Pacific Ocean. There is definitely something different about the Pacific in Northern California. The cold water, and the dramatic way the land just kind of ends, dropping off into a huge expanse. There are also interesting areas where the ocean meets the land, and merges with freshwater. Tomales Bay is one of those places, and it happens to be a great place to farm oysters. I could never get behind the whole raw oyster thing as a kid - even though my dad loved them - but as an adult living in the bay area and working at Fish. restaurant, it was only normal that I give them another shot. Needless to say, by the time Mike and I moved back to Michigan I had developed a love of oysters - raw, barbecued, and fried - and I know they will be some of the first things on my plate during our next visit.
Before we left, I worked on a piece in Edible Marin & Wine Country with writer Maria Finn to tell the story of Hog Island Oyster Company and their efforts to raise awareness about water quality and ocean acidification. The company is truly one to admire; family owned, with a huge fan base, and an expanding garden to supply the need for greens at their oyster bar in the SF ferry building and Napa restaurant. For their 30th anniversary they released limited edition oyster shucking knives, t-shirts, and a special Hog Island Oyster Wine. Continuing to do great things, John Finger and Terry Sawyer lead the way, aided by their children, wives, and good friends to build a business that celebrates a truly regional cuisine and advocates for sustainability and environmental stewardship. Cheers to Hog Island - Live to Shuck, Shuck to Live.
To read Maria's article online, check out the link here.