829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Monday, February 7, 2011

Oyster Bowl XII

 Every Super Bowl Sunday for the past 12 years, Jack
Morrison and his crew from the Blue Point Grill
and Nassau Street Seafood have held the Oyster Bowl,
an oyster eating contest to benefit Susan G.
Komen for the Cure, a charity dedicated to education
and research about causes, treatment, and the search
for a cure for breast cancer.  The event is held on the
 sidewalk outside of the Blue Point, which is adjacent
to Nassau Street Seafood, my all-time, hands-down
favorite fish market. Ever.  Here I stand next to one
of my favorite fishmongers, Colin, an Irish gentleman
who I want on my side any day of the week.  I thought
I knew my fish until I met him many years ago.   

Inside Nassau Street Seafood, the first thing you smell
is fresh produce.  You can't say that about most of
the fish markets you walk into.  I always tell people
when they ask where to buy fish:  "Anything they have
in their case, you could eat raw.  That's how fresh it
is."  No lie.  And the prices aren't discount, but you 
should never skimp on fish. On the other hand, good
vegetables can be found elsewhere much cheaper. 

But when you're there, and those baby pattypans
are staring you in the face..........no wait, look away,
be strong!  Stop and Shop is on the way home.

2 out of 3 reasons to be.  My older daughter was
working this afternoon. Gotta have gas and
spending money! By the way, did I mention
that it was an unbelievably beautiful day today, the
first in seemingly months?  No?  It was.

Her love of all things oyster came from me, I think.
The oyster stew was sublime, and the price was
justified when we remembered it was for charity.

Congressman Rush Holt asked me and Liv if he could
get a shot with the two of us.  I said okay...............
but make it quick!

War paint (cocktail sauce).

They shucked 7500 East Point oysters from South
Jersey this morning in anticipation for the event this
afternoon.  7500 oysters.   

Waiting for the contestants to line up. Eat as many
oysters as you can in two minutes, and deposit
your shells in the buckets provided in front of you.
Your oyster count is tabulated by the number of
shells in your bucket. If you leave a shell on the tray,
it will not count. You may dress your oysters with
condiments before the gun, then all hell breaks loose.

This clip captured the action in all of its primeval gore,
with shredded bivalves hanging from the maws of the
gladiators, only to be slurped up in nauseating fashion.
It was really cool.

Charles and Dorothy, the couple in the middle of the
frame, have been a part of the Oyster Bowl from
the very beginning.  They both use the "Slurp from
the Shell" method, which, while not being the fastest
way to eat oysters, may be the most traditional.
Notice the "Oyster Cam" on the guy to the
right of Charles. I'd love to see that clip.
Hats off to Charles, who polished off 62 while
suffering a cut to his upper lip from a rather sharp
 oyster shell edge.  Dorothy actually made the
perpetual Oyster Bowl Trophy 12 years ago,
pictured below.  Those two are some of my all-
time favorite former, and hopefully future customers.
It was so so good to see them both today. 

The winner today ate 87 oysters in two minutes.  The record
was set in 2009 at 102.  I guess every year is different. 
Beside winning the Oyster Bowl for a year, the victor
receives a vacation for 2 in the Caribbean.  Not bad, but
the trip is over in 14 days.  The Oyster Bowl is theirs for 365.


  1. Dear Baydog,

    I need a strategy for getting a non oyster eater to try eating raw oysters.

    I used to eat them a lot when I lived back east, but have stopped in deference to my squeamish wife who has a problem with the texture. I can sort of relate, because I have the same thing about yogurt.

    Help, I'm starting to fear I may die without ever eating another oyster again.

    - Shuckless in Sacramento

  2. Shuckless, we may need an intervention.

  3. Thanks for sharing this never realized it was such a big event! A great cause but I don't oysters. Blue Point is definitely the best inland seafood around, we were there the night before this!

  4. Oysters, hhmmm, that rings a bell, I'll have to try that affair some time. Looked great and delicious plus a very worthy cause, I might add! I just flew up to NJ the weekend before last for my sisters Breast Cancer surgery at Fox Chase Hospital. All is well, thank God.

  5. Good pics.

    Sorry to report that I'm always wary of raw oysters. For one they taste better to me when cooked. For another there's Vibrio vulnificus.

    Anyway, nice store. Wish we had one like that near us.

    Looks like everyone had a great time.

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