"To describe our growing up in the low country of South Carolina, I would have to take you to the marsh on a spring day, flush the great blue heron from its silent occupation, scatter marsh hens as we sink to our knees in mud, open you an oyster with a pocketknife and feed it to you from the shell and say, ‘There. That taste. That's the taste of my childhood.'" - Pat Conroy,"Prince of Tides"
The South Carolina Oyster
In South Carolina's Lowcountry, oysters are a way of life. From the Native Americans who once inhabited the Sea Islands to modern day, oysters have remained at the heart of Southern cuisine and culture. During oyster season, which runs from September through April, these tasty mollusks are abundant at almost every local restaurant, and of course at the state's beloved oyster roasts.
Beneath a fine layer of pluff mud found in the rivers and marshes of South Carolina you will find Crassostrea virginica, aka the Eastern Oyster. These oysters are meaty, briny and crisp, more so than those found in the gulf and other regions, which gives them a very distinctive taste: sweet, salty and earthy. Rich in both flavor and history, South Carolina oysters are as unique as they are delicious.