New Jersey Food Journal

Saturday, July 4, 2015

NJ Oysters Climb to the Top

Photo Credits: Milford, NJ Oyster House

By Meenal Upadhyay

The New Jersey clam culture has been built on a long history, valuable aquaculture and much healthy competition. Today, Jersey clams are compared to the best of the best from Massachusetts and the West Coast. The shellfish itself is a popular menu item, as are chowders, dips and fried clam strips.

“Our long-range goal is to make New Jersey producers the shining star in the seafood industry,” says Neil Berger, the manager at Cold Spring Fish in Cape May.

“That’s what is really special about New Jersey seafood – the atmosphere and the memories that come with it.”
At Milford Oyster House, which was named by Zagat as New Jersey’s best seafood spot in 2015, the favorite item on the menu for years has been the Oyster House shellfish stew. Chef Edwin Coss says it’s not easy to reach the top spot. It’s all about providing something unique yet also comfortable and familiar, he says.

“Our ever-changing roster of oysters offers four to six selections each evening and we make sure each oyster is carefully hand scrubbed, delicately prepared, and served to ou
r guests with their choice of a cocktail sauce.”

To remain a top-rated oyster bar, says Coss, the restaurant also must serve a variety of seafood, to satisfy everyone.

At the Jersey Shore, clam chowder is popular; many restaurants call their versions “world famous” and “award-winning.” The Jersey clam chowder features tomatoes, bacon and potatoes. It was – and remains -- a staple at the Shore and is the kind of recipe that keepspeople coming back. It doesn’t just taste good, it reminds them of salty waters and ocean airs.

That’s what is really special about New Jersey seafood – the atmosphere and the memories that come with it.

Joseph Stallor, a Rutgers student, says he loves seafood, because it reminds him of “sunny weather, good vibes and happy times.”

Meenal Upadhyay is a senior at Rutgers University, studying Economics and Journalism. She hopes to some day become a financial analyst and when she's not busy, you can always find her eating some delicious food since every food is her favorite food!