Gifts for the seafood lover on your list
No Chesapeake holiday is complete without a seafood feast. Here are tools to help you dig in, whether you’re on the gifting or eating end (or better yet, both).
Oyster Dish, $25
Quirk n Bach Pottery (Annapolis, Md.)
These small plates are almost too pretty to use, and handmade in their studio in Eastport.
Premium Oyster Knife, $52
True Chesapeake Oyster Co. (Baltimore)
Shucking oysters is 10% skill and 90% knife. This Chesapeake stabber, designed in conjunction with master woodworker Dale German, works for professionals and amateurs alike. truechesapeake.com
Placecard Holder, $12
Keep everyone in their place with detailed pewter crustaceans, available at Le Marché, Norfolk Va.
Serving Set, $43
Arthur Court Designs
Serve up sides in style with this set, made from lightweight, sand-cast aluminum. It’s available at Mary Barnett Gifts, Norfolk, Va.
Bottle Opener/Crab Mallet
Bay Imprint (Easton, Md.)
Because nothing goes together quite like crabs and beer. This mallet is made from reclaimed wood, with a built-in bottle opener. Customize with your preferred brew, the date of your crab feast, or whatever else you can dream up; the price goes down the more you order.
Chip and Shuck Oyster Opener, $249
Chip and Shuck (Pasadena, Md.)
Shucking for a crowd? This invention by Md. oyster grower Rick Levin promises easy opening for oysters and clams of all sizes.
Carvel Hall Crab Knives, set of 6; $54
Mr. Woodsmith (Crisfield, Md.)
This second-generation family business has been making crab knives and mallets for more than 40 years. The stainless-steel knife is the same original Carvel Hall design created in 1975.
There are loads of local farmers who offer shellfish shipping around the region and beyond. Here are three to try that deliver (literally) in packaging, presentation, and taste.
Orchard Point Oyster Co., Kent Island, Md.
These small-batch bivalves are cultivated at two farms in the upper Chesapeake, and available as sweet, tasty Classics designed for shuck-and-eat, or oversized Orchard Point Primes, which grow to four inches and are perfect on a grill. orchardpointoysters.com
Hooper Island Oyster Co., Md.
Their Chesapeake Smokes are raised on the farm on Hoopers Island, then finished in smoked sea-salt-infused water for 6 to 24 hours. The result is a firm-textured bivalve with a subtle smoky finish. Designed in partnership with Dogfish Head Brewing Co, they used to only be available at the Chesapeake & Main restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, Del., but now come straight to your door. hoopersisland.com
Cherrystone Aqua-Farms, Cape Charles, Va.
This fifth-generation family business produces stellar shellfish on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Order up an oyster sampler and taste the differences between bright Misty Points, briny Chincoteague Salts, classic Watch House Points, and party-perfect Chunuses, or go whole clam with a bushel of littlenecks or middlenecks. clamandoyster.com