Oysters Lead Lives of Excitement and Danger. Especially in the Balkans.

Bode Sare, the owner of highly regarded seafood restaurants in Croatia (and a former weapons smuggler), champions locally grown oysters.CreditCreditZoran Marinovic for The New York Times

MALI STON, Croatia — “An oyster leads a dreadful but exciting life,” M.F.K. Fisher observed in her classic book about them, “full of stress, passion and danger.”

The oyster, in other words, fits right in with the beleaguered Balkans.

In his 62 years in this tumultuous region, the life of Bode Sare has been at least as eventful as an oyster’s. Mr. Sare has been a partisan warrior, a weapons smuggler, a cafe owner and a prisoner (twice).

Now, as the owner of highly regarded seafood restaurants in Croatia, he champions locally grown oysters, and is part of a collective of 75 farmers that tends oyster beds in Mali Ston Bay, part of the Adriatic Sea along the southern Croatian coast.

One early morning, as a mist shrouded the ancient wall that snakes around the hills overlooking the town of Mali Ston, Mr. Sare’s son, Tomislav, guided the family’s boat past the plastic markers bobbing in the shimmering blue waters and marking the collective’s oyster beds.

Kelp Farmers Get a Big Suprise

Kelp Farmers Get a Big Suprise

Stony Brook University scientist Mike Doall and oyster farmer Paul McCormick with kelp grown on the Great Gunn oyster farm this spring. Since the first pilot projects explored the idea of growing sugar kelp in Long Island waters in 2017, there has been an explosion of interest in this crop, a gourmet food whose uses are just beginning to be explored here.

This past winter, aquaculturists and marine scientists from Stony Brook University teamed up to see if they could grow sugar kelp in Long Island’s shallow south shore estuaries.

The results have been astounding, and could signify a breakthrough that could unlock a wealth of economic and environmental opportunities, say the researchers.

A collaborative team including marine scientists at Stony Brook University, 3D ocean farming innovators at the non-profit organization GreenWave, local seafood industry pioneers Dock to Dish and Haskell Seafood, and several Long Island oyster farmers, have teamed up on a grant from the New York Farm Viability Institute to bring this crop to Long Island. 

The team deployed commercial-style lines of kelp on oyster farms in three Long Island estuaries, including Great Gun Oyster Farm in Moriches Bay, East End Oysters in the Long Island Sound, and a Town of Islip aquaculture lease in the Great South Bay.

In just three months, kelp blades have grown to over four feet at the Moriches Bay site, outpacing every known kelp farm in New York and Connecticut. Read more at

Seaweed Products to Sample

Seaweed Butter

A compound butter that combines seaweed, cultured butter and sea salt, this is wonderful melted over boiled potatoes, stirred into pasta or rice, dolloped over roasted vegetables, chicken and especially seafood. I love it smeared on warm bread and topped with smoked salmon. Bordier makes a fine one, imported from Brittany in northwestern France and available at gourmet shops. And Beurre de la Mer, made from Vermont Creamery butter and a mix of seaweeds, is available from The Chef’s Warehouse.

Seaweed Tea

Dried seaweed mixed with a variety of aromatic teas makes for a heady, fragrant beverage. The tea is available at Cup of Sea, a company based in Portland, Me. I am particularly fond of the green tea-dried kelp combination.

Seaweed Pasta

Added to wheat flour, dried seaweed makes a highly nutritious pastawith a salty bite.

Kelp Salsa

This salsa from Barnacle Foods is a good gateway product for anyone who is interested in eating seaweed, but is still a little unsure. The seaweed gives salsa a gentle saline flavor that harmonizes with the tomatoes and chiles, but doesn’t overwhelm them.

Kelp Pickles

Made in Alaska from bull kelp, a variety with a thick stem that has the texture of green pepper, these crunchy pickles come in two flavors: dilland curry.

Read more below from the NYTIMES

East Hampton Town to accept a $400G state grant to help build aquaculture facility

East Hampton Town will accept a $400,000 New York State Regional Economic Development Council grant, bringing the town closer to building its new aquaculture facility in Springs.

The town board had been undecided on whether to accept the state money, which was awarded in December and requires a nearly $270,000 match from the town.

The town board voted 5-0 at its meeting Thursday to accept the state money, the largest Regional Economic Development Council grant the town has ever received. The grant will fund facility designs, town officials have said.

East Hampton’s aquaculture department works to replenish the local commercial stock of clams, scallops and oysters.

More info @ Newsday

Hatchery Would Double as Salty Education Center

A plan to relocate East Hampton Town’s shellfish hatchery that envisions a combined educational center and exemplar of environmentalism and sustainability was unveiled at Town Hall on Tuesday, as a proposal to consolidate the hatchery and nursery at one site moved closer to fruition. 

More info @ The East Hampton Star