NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Some of the first Louisiana oysters cultivated off the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico make it to market this weekend.
The specialty oysters, grown in floating cages by Caminada Bay Premium Oysters, make their limited-run debut at the Crescent City Farmers Markets around the city starting Saturday, July 18.
Marcos Guerrero, owner of Caminada Bay Premium Oysters, says growing the oysters in the floating cages makes for a higher quality product.
The oysters achieve market size after a ten to twelve month growing period.
They envision someday being able to grow a million oysters each year.
Guerrero says, "Our off bottom cultured oysters are set on floating cages at a level that is more beneficial to the oyster quality. Abundant nutrients and more dissolved oxygen give our oysters a better environment and an opportunity to grow faster and fatter year round."
Researchers at the Grand Isle Oyster Hatchery have studied the alternative growing system extensively in recent years. Directed by oyster specialist John Supan, PH.D., the Louisiana Sea Grant College program at LSU has worked with oyster farmers to bring the oysters to harvest.
The system has been used extensively in other parts of the world.
As part of the promotion, Caminada Bay Premium Oysters will offer a box of 25 oysters to chefs for free during the July 18 Crescent City Farmers Market downtown. The boxes will be sold to the public for $24.99.
The specialty oysters will be offered for a limited time during the week at Crescent City Markets around the city.