Cousins Travis and Ryan Croxton are bringing some serious attention to the Chesapeake bay with their deliciously briny oysters and their valiant efforts to help restore the oyster harvest from its dangerously low levels with their company Rappahannock Oyster Co. Their space at Union Market is always packed and now Food and Wine has featured their story. Read the post, and then head on over for a half dozen, because you’re not going to taste anything better or fresher.
Where the Rappahannock River feeds the Chesapeake Bay, off the coast of Topping, Virginia, I dipped my hand into the gray-green water and took a taste. It was soft but heavy, with the quietest purr of salt. Here, at the mouth of the river, cousins Travis and Ryan Croxton grow the oysters that give their Rappahannock Oyster Co. its name. Those oysters taste like this water, but better: barely briny, with a delicate, scallop-like flavor, beautiful but bluntly animal, as if they were nursed on chicken stock. These are the oysters the cousins love best, because they taste like this place. Because they taste like what was almost lost.