Murder Point Oyster Farm
I had the opportunity to visit Murder Point Oyster Farm while working with the Alabama Tourism board and The World Food Championship Blogger Summit. As an avid Oyster lover, I was excited to see how oysters are farmed and how they get to my table. If you have never heard of Murder Point Oyster Farm, you are in for the treat of your life. Murder Point Oysters are hand raised off the Alabama Gulf Coast. They are plump, buttery, and so yummy.
History of Murder Point
Murder Point Oysters are grown near a location that was once known as Myrtle Point. I bet you are wondering where the name Murder Point came from? The wild oyster industry was booming in the mid-1920’s, and people made their homes and livelihood on the water. In 1927, a heated dispute about an oyster lease began between two families. One guy walked up to the other and shot him dead with a shotgun on his front porch! Since that incident between the two families, Myrtle Point was known as Murder Point.
In fact, Murder Point’s slogan is, “Oysters worth killing for.”
Why Alabama Gulf Coast Oysters
Oysters aren’t new to the Alabama Gulf Coast, but off-bottom, intensive aquaculture is. Alabama normally processes more oysters in the Gulf than any other state and they’re mostly traditional bottom-planted, dredged oysters from all over. While there’s nothing wrong with that, delivering a consistent quality created an opportunity to learn more and try something different.
The Zirlotts who own Murder Point Oyster Farm were among one of the first families to enroll in a new aquaculture training course led by Dr. Bill Walton, head of the Auburn Shellfish Lab. After completing Dr. Walton’s course they decided to raise an additional 500,000 oysters on their own.
When did I visit?
I visited Murder Point Oyster Farm in November and it was cold, raining and the salt level was really high. Most oyster farms you see a few tall PVC pipes sticking out of the water but Murder Point it looks more like Napa Valley without the vines. Lane pulled up next to one of the long lines (Murder Point Oysters are raised in an Australian longline system by SEAPA) and lifted a basket of oysters out of the murky green water. He proceeded to shuck a couple oysters for me to taste right then and there. I have never had oysters right out of the water.
I looked at the freshly shucked oysters then to the water it came from then back to the oyster. Could I eat it? Should I eat it? I wanted to try it for sure, but nobody was offering. No one said, “Want to try it?” How could I not? When would I have this opportunity again?
What did they taste like fresh out of the water?
The oysters were lukewarm, very salty, sublimely buttery, and as relaxed as an afternoon on the beach. An excellent experience by any measure. Murder Point Oysters are petite and if you have never had fresh oysters before then you definitely want to start with Murder Point. Their oysters are not big, slimy and hard to swallow. They’re about 2.5-2.75 inches long and deeply cupped.
Because these oysters never touch the floor, their shells also sparkle with pearly white and green tones. They’re fast growing, but aren’t brittle. Also, I am accustomed to oysters having a lot of grit in them and these were completely grit-free. By far the best oysters I’ve ever eaten.