November 28, 2014
On the day before Thanksgiving, we picked up oysters from one of our favorites purveyors, Norm Bloom and Son - also known as Copps Island Oysters. The company is located in Norwalk, Connecticut, right on Long Island Sound. It's a family-owned business that has harvested oysters and clams on the Connecticut shore for more than three generations. The company monitors the quality and conditions of the water to make sure their oysters are harvested in an environmentally responsible manner.
we constantly monitor the water quality and conditions of water sources and our grounds in Long Island Sound
1 It was snowing when we left to pick up the oysters, but the snow had turned into rain by the time we got to Norwalk.
2 Here's the exterior of Norm Bloom & Son, in business as a family enterprise since the 1940s.
3 A view of Long Island Sound from the front yard of Norm Bloom & Son. The company farms oyster beds from Greenwich to Stonington, Connecticut, and markets them as Copps Island Oysters.
4 The oysters are harvested and loaded into large bins located on the boats, then offloaded from the dock and brought by forklift to the processing room. Here's Jony Amaya operating the forklift.
5 You can see the dimensions of the processing room and that thousands of oysters were being processed when we were there.
6 When the hatch is raised, the oysters come tumbling down. The workers use a stainless steel bar called a "chipping tool" to clear away debris and smooth the oysters. This is Rudis Gomez hard at work.
7 Here's what a bivalve oyster looks like when it first comes out of the water, covered in mud and muck.
8 Here's the same oyster after being chipped and smoothed.
9 This worker is separating chipped oysters by size into smaller baskets.
10 This is Orvin Euseda pouring a basketful of oysters into a larger bin.
11 A bin filled to the brim with chipped oysters.
12 Now they're heading towards a giant washing machine.
13 Operations manager Pogy Pogany examines the oysters. Pogy grew up in Norwalk and worked with the oyster boats as a boy.
14 Here's Edwin Rodrigez, a supervisor, loading the hopper of the washing machine.
15 Getting washed on a conveyer belt, the final step before being packed into boxes.
16 The final product.
17 I highly recommend Norm Bloom and Son oysters. Should you find yourself in Norwalk, here's the address!