Quick Bites

Food news and notes.

Photo courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Comeback Kids

The Virginia revival of mussels and scallops. 

When it comes to Virginia shellfish, the newest thing is often a renaissance from the past. Rappahannock Oyster Co. has been painstakingly reviving a bygone bivalve—the bay scallop that died off in the 1930s—for its menus. Scallops are “a lot harder to grow than oysters,” says co-owner Ryan Croxton, but samples could potentially show up at Rappahannock’s restaurants this year.

Scientists are also cultivating mussels, from the Clinch River to the James, in growing numbers—more than a third of the 81 species left in the Commonwealth are endangered, and almost all are inedible. 

Don’t Get in My Personal Space

Illustration by Ed Fotheringham

JMU researchers find that oysters grow best when they respect their boundaries. 

Just like humans, oysters appreciate their personal space, researchers at James Madison University have found. Graduate student Bailie Lavan and professor Patrice Ludwig made this discovery while observing oyster populations growing on concrete tiles that they placed in the Lynnhaven River near Virginia Beach. The bivalves settle on all tiles, says Ludwig, but tend to grow best on the ones that have just the right amount of space between them and the artificial shells.

Food for Thought

Virginia food and drink podcasts to spice up your spare time.

Eat It, Virginia! Scott Wise and Robey Martin co-host this podcast from WTVR news, which covers everything a foodie podcast should—from new Central Virginia restaurants and interviews with established chefs, to rants about who makes the best margaritas in Richmond. WTVR.com/Tag/Eat-It-Virginia

Cellar Sessions For those interested in what’s in their glass, check out Williamsburg Winery’s Cellar Sessions podcast, hosted by the winery’s vice president of marketing, Michael Kimball. You’ll catch discussions on topics like the canned wine craze or the evolution of craft beer from the makers of Virginia beer, wine, mead, and more. WilliamsburgWinery.com/CellarSessionsPodcast

Richmond Famous Highlighted on this podcast are the unique voices and vibrant personalities behind favorite Richmond restaurants, including Sub Rosa Bakery, Pomona Plants & Coffee, Saison, Alewife, and many others. Friends Nicole Lang and Laura Sant co-host the bimonthly show. RichmondFamous.com

This article originally appeared in our Smoke + Salt 2019 issue.

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