SustainabilityQ: What makes Nedís Island Oysters a sustainable business?
A: Despite their small size, oysters have a disproportionately large effect on their local environments. Oysters eat by filtering out micronutrients from seawater at a rate of about a gallon an hour. Due to their ability to filter such a large volume of water in a short period of time, oysters play a vital role in keeping marine ecosystems healthy. By only harvesting our cultured oysters, Nedís Island keeps the strain off the wild population, ensuring that there are always a bountiful number of oysters that keep Long Island Soundís waters clean and clear.
Oyster AquacultureQ: How are your oysters cultured?
A: We start by selecting only the strongest, most disease-resistant oysters in our stock. We then place them in water heated to 30ļ C to simulate their warmer summer breeding conditions. This process, known as conditioning, encourages them to spawn. Any given spawn can produce between 180-220 million oyster larvae. From there the larvae go into individual tanks and are fed a steady diet of algae. Eighteen days later they are placed in different tanks where the larvae attach to small grains of ground shell, in a process known as setting, where they begin to grow their shell. During this metamorphosis anywhere between 30-60% will die. They are continually fed algae and remain in these tanks for another two weeks. From the setting tanks they are transferred to larger nursery tanks before being finally placed in the hands of Mother Nature. At this point they are no longer fed algae and instead begin to feed directly from surrounding seawater as it is pumped through the tank. Shortly thereafter we move the oysters to waters outside of the hatchery, and only two years time stands between them and your dinner table.
OrderingQ: What quantities are available?
A: 12, 24, 50, 100 count bags.
Q: Do you sell wholesale?
A: Unfortunately at this time we are unable to sell wholesale.
Q: Should I only eat oysters in months with the letter "r"?
A: A classic rule for oyster lovers states that one should only eat oysters during the months that contain the letter "r". This belief took hold long ago, when it was believed that oysters were much more prone to spoiling in May, June, July, and August, and has existed ever since. Personally, we think that eliminating oysters from your life any time of year is a terrible idea, and with Ned's, that "rule" just doesn't apply.
Our harvest grounds are very close to shore, which means that we can hop on our boat, pull up your oysters, and have them in our refrigerator in about 30 minutes or less. That type of speed is essentially unheard of, and you can verify how fast yours made it to the fridge by checking the front of your invoice. Once in the refrigerator, your oysters are cooled down to below 40 degrees in a very short period of time and they stay that cold until the moment you open your box, making them the safest oysters you can buy any time of year.
So, order from Ned's today, and know that you've got nothing to worry about, and a whole lot to enjoy.
Q: When should I place my order?
A: We harvest and ship Monday through Thursday. Thursday orders will only ship next day ground for delivery on Friday through our website, but special orders can be accommodated, so send us an email or give us a call so we can assist you. We suggest that if you want your oysters to arrive during the middle of the week, that you place your order by Monday morning. If you want your oysters to arrive before the weekend, please place your order no later than Tuesday night so they are shipped on Wednesday. We do this to ensure that our oysters make it from our dock to your door as fresh as possible.
Shipping & HandlingQ: How will my order be packaged?
A: Nedís Island Oysters will arrive in an insulated cardboard box labeled ďRefrigerate Upon Arrival.Ē Inside that box the oysters will be accompanied by reusable frozen gel ice packs to maintain their temperature and will be wrapped in thermal bags. Also, in your package you will notice a time & temperature indicator, which will show you if the oysters have been exposed to detrimental temperatures for an extended period. Customers should check this tag IMMEDIATELY upon opening the package. If you receive your package and your time & temperature indicator reveals prolonged exposure, please call us as soon as possible so that we can determine if your oysters are safe to eat.
Q: On the tag attached to my oysters it says that they were harvested by Sargents Cove, who are they?
A: Sargents Cove is our parent company and holds all of our harvesting permits.
Q: How much does shipping cost?
A: For your convenience, all UPS Ground shipping costs are flat-rate and are included in the cost of your order. For any order shipped UPS Next Day and 2 Day Air, all flat-rate shipping fees are waived and customers will be responsible for the full shipping cost.
Q: How long will it take for my oysters to arrive?
A: All Nedís Island orders that are shipped flat-rate UPS Ground will arrive to the customer's location within two days. Please see the map below to determine if you fall within that ground shipping area. We are currently determining a safe and effective packaging solution for customers that wish to receive orders shipped via UPS Ground who are outside of our 2-day range.
Storing, Shucking & EatingQ: How do I store my oysters and how long will they keep?
A: Nedís Island Oysters can be stored in their mesh bags in a refrigerator between 33-40ļ F for up to a week after their arrival. Oysters need to breathe, never store them in airtight bags or containers. If the oysterís shell is open and does not close when tapped, the oyster should be discarded.
Q: Whatís the best way to shuck a Nedís Island Oyster?
A: We recommend using a special shucking knife (available for purchase), but a number of instruments can get the job done in a pinch. Be sure to wear gloves, or use a thick towel to hold the oyster. Do your best to hold it level so you do not spill the liquid inside. The easiest way to open oysters is to start at the hinge. Carefully work your knife between the top and bottom shell, and then give it a twist to pop it open. Next, cut the abductor muscle that holds the two sides of the shell together and toss the top shell. Then run your knife around the edges to release the oyster from the bottom shell. Shucking an oyster for the first time can be a little daunting, but rest assured you will get better with practice. Keep at it; itís a process that we promise is absolutely worth it.
Q: What is that small crab doing in my oyster?
A: The appropriately-named Oyster Crab is, by all accounts, a squatter. Scurrying into the oyster when it opens to feed, the crab makes its home around the mantle and feeds off of the food that the oyster brings in for itself without harming its gracious host. This particular type of crab is only found in the North Atlantic region and, as we've seen, has made its way pretty far into Long Island Sound.
The best part? You can eat them. They're a soft crab and they've got a nice salty essence to them that actually compliments the taste of the oyster very well. In fact, they're a delicacy, and we're sure they're good luck, too.
However, if you're not inclined to eat the little stowaway, simply nudge it out of the shell with your shucking knife and go about eating the incredible oyster that now lies in your hand. We promise that, crab or not, it'll rock your socks off.
Q: How should I serve Nedís Island Oysters?
A: Please see our Recipes section for a list of our favorites.