Each year Taylor Shellfish Farms is glad to share the bounty of the sea with neighbors far and near at the Allyn Geoduck Festival in Washington State. Because hundreds of avid shellfish fans attend this annual mid-summer event, Taylor is always sure to bring enough Pacific Oysters as well as Geoduck Clams to satisfy everyone.
Once the alder wood flames are started in specially built fire pits and a small amount of water poured on the hot steel grill plates, the oysters are carefully spread out.
Once the Pacific Oysters are laid out evenly, a wet cover of burlap is draped over them to capture the soon raising wood-scented steam. This burlap steaming technique is historically part of how shellfish are traditionally cooked in South Carolina.
Taylor Shellfish adds their own twist to this southern traditional cuisine by boiling and rinsing the burlap at least three times to achieve a more subtle tannin flavor.
The result is a unique mixture of raising white steam and wood scented smoke that is pure culinary delight.
Once done, Taylor’s Oysters are lifted off the steaming grill plates with, what else, a carefully washed pitchfork.
And although many hungry visitors have already lined up looking forward to the special flavor of the beach cooked oysters from Taylor’s tideland Farms, they will have to wait just a little longer until the piles of freshly cooked oysters cool.
Once cooled enough to safely handle, Taylor’s skilled shuckers move in and encircle the waiting piles and begin opening them with a speed any chef would envy.
Once shucked and placed on gleaming picnic-perfect white paper plates, everyone is welcome to enjoy them plain, with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or with their favorite hot sauce. Either way, the taste is unforgettable and truly Taylor!
And who’s the host of this grand event enjoyed by neighbors eight to eighty? Well, who else but Bill Taylor, proud member of the Taylor Family – a shellfish farming family for over 125 years! No wonder they get it right year after year for both local neighbors and 5 star chefs!