Oysters From Prince Edward Island

Frank Bruni has written a new article for the New York Times about a morning activity of collecting oysters in Prince Edward Island. Here’s a sample from the piece.

The boat rocked. The tongs slipped through my hands, partly because they were heavy, mostly because I am clumsy. Gripping them tighter, I raked them over the bottom of the bay, which was loose and crunchy in a way that suggested gravel but meant something else.

Oysters. I’d made contact with oysters. And if I squeezed the tongs the right way and managed to pull them up without having them pull me down into the frigid water — restaurant critic overboard! — I might find oysters in their clutch. And I might get to taste oysters whose freshness I had verified not with my server but with my own eyes and my own wet, chapped, shaking hands.

That’s why I’d come to Prince Edward Island, the smallest and least populous of Canada‘s 10 provinces, nestled in the Gulf of St. Lawrence just above Nova Scotia and just beyond the curiosity of most travelers, who don’t go much higher up the northeastern curve of North America than Maine. For people the island is a tough sell: long winters, no Abercrombie & Fitch.

For shellfish it’s paradise, with cold, clean water that’s not sullied by coastal industry and has an optimal degree of salinity, thanks to its partial protection from the open sea.

It’s an interesting and thoughtful piece. You can read the rest of it at NYtimes.com