Taylor Shellfish Farm today celebrates the grand opening of its retail location at Melrose Market, an expansion that coincides with increased consumer interest in shellfish.
According to a report in Nation's Restaurant News, overall seafood consumption in restaurants has been on the decline since 2007. But purchases of raw, grilled, baked, and broiled fish and shellfish are on the upswing: Sushi sales were up 4 percent last year.
"The growth in non-fried seafood servings suggests consumers are making health-conscious decisions in their seafood selections," an industry analyst told the paper. Seafood promoter Jon Rowley, who works with Taylor Shellfish, suspects environmental concerns may also be contributing to the growing popularity of clams, mussels, and oysters, which are frequently served raw, roasted, or steamed.
"If you look at sustainability, which is a buzzword now, farmed shellfish could be the only unequivocally sustainable seafood," Rowley says.
Rowley isn't sure whether eaters nationwide are keen to sustainability issues, but says retailers and restaurants are starting to push the concept. "It's definitely out there," Rowley says.
In addition to selling oysters, clams, mussels, geoduck, crab, scallops, and frozen items for home preparation, Taylor Shellfish's store features an oyster-eating nook. Rowley hinted the store might also develop other non-fried edible delicacies: "I'm sure we'll use Rain Shadow meats," he says. "There will probably be some cross-pollination."
For today's party, Taylor Shellfish is serving barbecued oysters, mussels, and Xinh Dwelley's geoduck ceviche and curried mussels.
"If people haven't tasted her food, they should take advantage of the opportunity," Rowley says. "She's fabulous."
On the off chance the food runs out--"we're bringing lots, but it's hard to say," Rowley says--the schedule's packed with events including book signings, a geoduck cleaning lesson, and live music. The celebration runs from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.