While Jess was eating up all the potatoes in the universe, I was at a very different sort of festival in the same state (and I don’t mean confusion!).
Two years ago, I went with my family to the Milford, CT. Oysterfest. We milled around quite a lot looking at many interesting craft booths of varying qualities. There was just a huge selection of different crafts, and it was fascinating, but we were disappointed by the lack of oysters.
Around three in the afternoon, after being there all day, we discovered that this was because there were two sections to the festival– the craft fair, and another, more traditional fair down below, with tons of fair food and even some rides– and, of course, the requisite oysters. We stood on line, and got a few oysters each, although by that late in the day, their supply was someone limited, and we could only try a couple varieties of oysters. We also got a dish of clam strips, which were really delicious.
So, two years later, we returned (I think we had another commitment that weekend last year and couldn’t make it), and instead of looking at the craft tables, my mother and I made a beeline for the oysters.
When you get to the head of the line, there’s a list of what varieties are available:
We got there early enough that they had pretty much everything! They also have bunches of other stuff, like fried clam strips, fried oysters (which we did not get), clam chowder, and Oysters Imperial. The oysters are $20 for a dozen, or $2 apiece.
Everything is done cafeteria-style– with OYSTERS. You basically get on the line, and there is someone shucking oysters, and supplying them on one side, and you grab the ones you want on the other. Since there were so many kinds, my mom and I just took two of the ones that looked best. The only real problem is that while they’re labeled on the line, you just have a plate and there’s no real way to mark which kind is which.
The tent is right next to the stand for the oyster shucking contest, and while we didn’t watch the oyster shucking contest, it was obvious that it was within close proximity for practical purposes, and a lot of the folks serving the oysters were also participating in the competition. Chopper Young from Wellfleet, who is apparently the world’s fastest oyster shucker (I didn’t know that was a thing! Did you know that was a thing?) was there, and they announced him and he just hopped on out of the tent and over to greet the onlookers at the contest.
Anyway, here’s our plate full of delicious oysters:
And here’s some photos of our Oysters Imperial and our clam strips:
Even the cocktail sauce was good (Don’t worry, I only ate it with the clam strips; I was not going to pollute those beautiful oysters!)
We ate our oysters one by one, taking the same type of oyster at a time, and sucking them down in the hot sun (hooray, the first aid tend had sunscreen, or I would have been burnt). They varied in flavor from good to exceptional, with some amazing and delicious briny treats among the lot, but, like I said, the situation at the line is so confusing that we weren’t 100% sure which oyster was which.
The clam strips were phenomenal and actually exceeded my memories from last time. The Oysters Imperial were fine and all, but with all those amazing delicious raw things, I don’t think I would get them again– much more worthwhile to slurp up some more of the raw babies.
There are also a ton of other tents with other food that we didn’t get around to trying, from typical fair food like fried Oreos to classic New England fare (ha, no pun intended) like crabcakes and lobster rolls. The thing was, we were so stuffed with oysters, we couldn’t really try anything else. The only drawback was that the only alcoholic beverages on the premises were $6 Budweisers and vodka lemonades in 12oz plastic cups My mother and I, upon discovering this, went over to a bar in town and got pints of real beer for $5.25. All in all, though, it was a delicious day!
We also strolled around the crafts– AFTER we were properly stuffed with oysters. The craft tents ranged from an overabundance of badly hand-painted chambray blouses to some utterly beautiful jewelry designs (I bought a really lovely green and yellow necklace on a ribbon). I would say that unfortunately most of them fell on the mediocre side of things. But that was okay, because the crafts were not the oysters.
Mirrored from Nommable!.