The Virginia Half-Shell Oyster Tasting returns from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, in the parking lot adjacent to Kelsick Specialty Market, 6632 Main Street, Gloucester Courthouse.
Sponsored by the Tidewater Oyster Gardeners Association, the annual event gives participants an opportunity to sample and rate a variety of locally harvested oysters and helps promote oyster aquaculture in Virginia waters.
Six commerical oyster companies who work in waters surrounding the Middle Peninsula will be shucking and serving up their catch. The list includes Rappahannock River Oyster Company, Rappahannock River; Deltaville Oyster Company, Piankatank River; Chapel Creek Oyster Company, Piankatank River; Winter Harbor Oysters, Winter Harbor; Mobjack Bay Oysters, Mobjack Bay; and Chessie Oyster Company, York River.
People will be able to taste four oysters from each grower, and use their rating card to judge them on aroma, saltiness and other qualities. Kelsick will offer wine and beer for sale, and there will be other foods on site.
Growers will have additional oysters for sale to take home and will take orders for oysters for future pickup.
Founded in 1997, the non-profit oyster gardeners association is made up of about 500 members who are working to restore the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay. There are about 350 licensed oyster growers in the state.
Tickets are $30, and the event is limited to 200 people. They’re available at Kelsick market or online at www.oystergardener.org.