The coastal island community of Chincoteague is known for two things: wild ponies (yes, it’s the home of Misty) and world-famous oysters. Perhaps less known is that the island of Chincoteague sits cozily within a virtual cocoon of protected lands. To the east, sheltering the island from the Atlantic Ocean, is Assateague Island, a 37-mile uninhabited National Seashore and Wildlife Refuge (home to the famous ponies). To the south and west is the Wallops Island Wildlife Refuge. Together, they encompass some 55,000+ acres of pristine maritime forests, salt marshes, dunes and beaches – making it the largest natural barrier island ecosystem in the Middle Atlantic states. And, boy, can you taste it.
The Chincoteague salt oyster is often called the aristocrat of the oyster family. Made famous in the years following the Civil War, it is renowned for one thing … salt. With virtually no fresh water sources, the bays and cuts surrounding Chincoteague Island are fed almost exclusively by the Atlantic as it pulses in and out of Chincoteague Inlet. A carpet of brilliant green saltwater marsh bridges the gap between the island and the mainland, marred only by deep water cuts and tranquil back bays. It’s within this nutrient-rich marshland that we grow our Olde Salt Oysters™.