As the humble oyster continues its ascent back into the ranks of the most rarefied of foods, Ludford thinks that demand will grow for merroir-terroir tastings, and he plans to begin offering them in private homes.
One day last week, Lynnhaven River oysterman Chris Ludford stood behind the bar at Terrapin restaurant in Virginia Beach, oyster knife holstered on his hip, set to co-host the first in a series of merroir-terroir tastings at the restaurant.
For the event, Ludford selected a trio of bivalves – Pleasure House Oysters that he raises in the Lynnhaven River; some extremely rare Belons, a French strain that were grown in Maine; and Keeling’s Pride, a wild Lynnhaven River oyster, and the rarest in Virginia.
“People used to think an oyster was an oyster and just douse it with cocktail sauce,” Ludford told the guests seated at the bar. “We’re going to do something completely different.”