Old 1871 oysters (Crassostrea virginica) are from Smith Island, Virginia. They are named for the year of the great Chicago fire, a time when oysters were shipped from the Chesapeake to Chicago by rail. Old 1871 oysters are the “House” east coast oyster of Fortune Fish and Gourmet, our parent company. They have quickly become a favorite here in Minneapolis as well. Old 1871 oysters are raised in off-bottom cages among the isolated barrier islands of our eastern shore. The oysters thrive on the nutrient rich plankton found where fresh water currents mix with the cold, salty tides of the Atlantic Ocean. Old 1871 oysters are medium to large in size and contain plump, juicy meats. The shells are deeply cupped with a sturdy exterior. The cup will secure the briny oyster liquor and the strong shell reduces splintering. Old 1817 oysters are perfect for the novice shucker. The flavor is an initial burst of brine followed by undertones of celery and grasses.