Katie Mcelveen 2017-09-05 10:02:55
It’s the season for coastal Carolina’s briny oysters at Montage Palmetto Bluff. We’ll never know who plucked that first craggy oyster from the sea to eat, but we do know that he or she had this stroke of genius a very, very long time ago: The ancient Romans so prized the briny bivalves that they created the world’s first man-made oyster beds. Like wine, oysters take on the terroir of where they were grown: The higher the salinity of the water, the more briny the oyster; creamy sweetness comes from fresh water. Oysters that hail from warmer climes tend to be soft and plush, with a mineral flavor. In South Carolina, coastal Carolina’s briny oysters are celebrated at oyster roasts, casual fall affairs that take place around plywood tables groaning with piles of hot steamed oysters. At Montage Palmetto Bluff, oyster roasts are held at Moreland Landing, an outdoor venue set on the banks of the May River. The landing is part of Moreland Village, a village within Palmetto Bluff that was designed using centuries-old building techniques and materials. One is tabby, a concrete-like material made from oyster shells and lime that was first used in South Carolina in the 17th century by English colonists as a way to utilize the shells of the region’s delicious oysters. May River oysters are so flavorful that from the 1800s until just after World War II, the tiny town of Bluffton, South Carolina, was one of the country’s main oyster suppliers. Of the five shucking houses that once lined the streets, today, just one, the Bluffton Oyster Company, remains. Owned by the Toomer family for three generations, the Bluffton Oyster Company hand-shucks oysters from September until May. It’s the last operation of its kind in the U.S. and is open to the public all year long. Just beyond the shucking facility is the restaurant, which, in addition to raw and steamed oysters, serves local fish, shrimp and crab alongside mac and cheese, cole slaw and other Southern sides. IN THE HALF SHELL ENJOY THESE OYSTER DISHES AT MONTAGE HOTELS & RESORTS THIS FALL. MONTAGE LAGUNA BEACH THE LOFT The Loft Chef de Cuisine Michael Campbell serves a rotation of raw West Coast oysters with his charred tomato mignonette. “The acid from the tomatoes marries well with the sweetness that the char brings out,” Campbell says. “A touch of honey and some grated horseradish really give the sauce … character.” MONTAGE KAPALUA BAY CANE & CANOE At Cane & Canoe, bracingly clean Kusshi oysters are set off with a compound butter that combines the umami of soy and bonito fish flakes with a refreshing jolt of citrus from the calamansi fruit. MONTAGE DEER VALLEY DALY’S PUB & REC Chef Curtis Lindley of Daly’s Pub & Rec gives crunchy fried oysters a Southern accent in this New Orleans-style po’boy sandwich. MONTAGE PALMETTO BLUFF RIVER HOUSE LOUNGE Oyster-lover and Montage Palmetto Bluff Chef de Cuisine Jeremy McGarry combined briny May River oysters, local shrimp, creamy, sharp cheddar and a little pickled jalapeno to create a perfect lowcountry bite.
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