May 2014 Newsletter - Special feature on the East Coast oyster shortage; Steamer Season; and European-style Mussel Recipe
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Where Are the East Coast Oysters?

A look into the current East Coast oyster shortage.
Oyster supply typically tightens around spring through early summer every year. However, this year, the East Coast oyster shortage has been much worse compared to years past. There are multiple factors affecting the oyster supply, and if you have not been brought up to speed yet, here are the major forces currently at play:
  • Oysters are growing later than usual -- the late spring and cold waters are delaying algae blooms, important food and nourishment for oysters to grow.
     
  • New England -- Growers often sell all their market-sized oysters before or during the winter.
     
  • Long Island & Mid-Atlantic -- Harsh weather conditions have greatly limited harvest levels.
     
  • Gulf -- Low production due to area closures and dying oyster populations.
     
  • Canada -- Thicker ice and ice melt has prevented growers from harvesting.
Demand for oysters have also been at a record high, which is further compounding the supply issue across the market. Whether you want to attribute it to climate change or human error (i.e. Gulf oil spill), the oyster shortage is affecting everyone along the supply chain. Production will steadily improve through September, and at that time, we will see a flood of market-ready product.

We ask for your patience and understanding as the industry weathers through this challenge. For a more in-depth look on the oyster shortage, please click below.
 
Reasons For the Oyster Shortage

Get ready for Steamer Season!

Imagine an 80º day with sunshine, good company, and an awesome cook-out... Don't lose hope, that day is coming! The question is, where are your steamers?

Well, we at Pangea are ready! We carry Maine steamers year-round, and even sell our very own Perfectly Purged Steamers®, steamers that are purged clean of sand and grit in our state licensed wet storage system. Rinsed and purged steamers are available in 10 pound, 1/2 bushel, and full bushel units.

European-style Steamed Mussels

Recipe brought to you by Acadia Aqua Farm
This month's recipe comes to us from the growers that bring you the wonderful Hollander & DeKoning Mussels we carry. The DeKoning family, sixth generation mussel farmers from the Netherlands, grow their premium mussels in the pristine waters of Mount Desert Island, ME. Since they are Dutch-style mussels, it only makes sense to include a recipe cooked the European way! Eet smakelijk!
Serves 2 as entrée or 4 as appetizer
 
Ingredients
  • 4lbs of Hollander & de Köning mussels
  • 1 stick of celery, chopped
  • 2 onions peeled and diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced*
  • 1 large leek, washed and sliced*
  • ½ red pepper, diced*
  • ½ green pepper diced*
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ¾ pint of white wine.
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
*Do not chop the vegetables too finely as their color, texture, and flavor are part of the enjoyment of this dish.

Directions

Mussel Preparation

Wash the mussels under running water and scrub the mussels with a stiff brush. Discard any open mussels that do not close within 30 seconds if you tap them.
  1. Add a teaspoon of olive oil, the chopped vegetables, herbs and garlic in a large pan with a close fitting lid and stir-fry them for a minute or two only.
  2. Add the wine, ½ tsp salt and plenty of freshly milled black pepper.
  3. Place the pan on very high heat. As soon as the liquid is boiling, add the mussels and put the lid on the pan, ensuring a good tight fit.
  4. Steam the mussels for just long enough so that all the mussels are open, but no longer than that, or the mussels will be less tender.
  5. Serve immediately in a warmed serving dish.
Serve with warm crusty bread, a good chilled Chardonnay and a crispy green salad.
To all of our chefs and oyster aficionados, if you have a recipe to share, please email connie@pangeashellfish.com, and it will be featured in our newsletter! In addition to the recipe, please include a photo of yourself and a sentence about your recipe.
UPDATES

• We will be CLOSED on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, 2014. Please plan your orders accordingly.

• PEI Oysters such as Malpeques are back in limited quantities! Call early to place your order.


• Maine Belon season will be ending in June, but Pemaquids from the Damariscotta are back in full swing!
 
Featured News

NOAA recently released two reports showing "strong economic gains from fishing" and "improvement in fish stocks" for 2012. The report also showed Massachusetts' seafood growth, second to Alaska in total value of landings at $618.3 million. However, some local fishermen are critical of the positive results. American scallops, for example, grew 30 percent in 2012, but was mostly due to the shortage in Japan caused by the tsunami. Some argue the report does not tell the "real story" and makes general statements that contradict what is actually happening in the local seafood community.

To read or download the NOAA report, click here.
May '14 Photo of the Month
This photo was submitted by one of our customers who was enjoying our mussels and steamers. Looks super delicious, Cary and thanks for sharing!
We want to hear from you!

Feel free to provide feedback, submit photos or recipes, and tweet at us. If you have tips, we want to hear them! We want to ensure that our newsletter content stays relevant and meets your needs.
 
Let us know if there are topics you would like to see, and we will do our best to cover them.

For product photos or other media inquiries, please contact Connie Lu at connie@pangeashellfish.com.
Rain, rain, go away, oysters want to play in May!


Cheers and #eatmoreoysters,

Pangea Shellfish
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