HISTORY ON THE HALF SHELL
Said to be a natural aphrodisiac, oysters are enjoyed in restaurant lounges and home dining as part of Louisiana kitchen culture.
With an enigmatic history as mysterious as the legend of mermaids, oyster farming dates back to the ancient Romans who re-seeded oyster beds using makeshift catchers. The industry spread to France and has sustained itself since the late 18th century.
The practice of aquaculture moved to the American South and within the last decade has become a thriving trade. Here at Shelley Farms, our goal is to provide the freshest, highest quality Southern oyster all year round. To do this, we use the six-bag oyster cage system.
"Like grapes in the wine industry, oysters draw their unique flavor from their environment."
Oyster harvesting methods have evolved drastically over the years. The earliest methods of the fisherman hand-picking the oysters from reefs resulted in harvests limited by depth of water, weather conditions, and physical strain placed on the body.
In the early 1900’s, the dredge was developed, a method of harvesting oysters involving a V-shaped iron frame pulled by a boat. Dredging in Louisiana is still the most prevalent form of oyster harvesting to date.
Situated on the leased oyster bottom of Bayou Hertesa, Shelley Farms has branched out to explore different methods of farming to perfect a system that will provide fast-growing, high-quality oysters. Because seasonality varies from region to region, Shelley Farms produces oysters that are exclusive in the market and possess a truly distinct flavor.
Like grapes in the wine industry, oysters draw their unique flavor from their environment. The salty Southern waters of the bayou are the main ingredient that makes Shelley Farms oysters special.
The pearl is the oyster's autobiography.