OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: Special oyster arrival a reason to celebrate tasteful tradition

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-07-03T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Special oyster arrival a reason to celebrate tasteful traditionBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

George Washington Carver, the great American scientist, botanist, educator and inventor, was able to use his research and study of peanuts to create many new products.

He also focused on alternative crops to cotton, while experimenting with soybeans and sweet potatoes, as a way to develop products to improve quality of life.

Of all his discoveries, I'm always the most fascinated by his use of peanuts to create mock oysters. Oysters have been prized for centuries and the limited availability of this seafood staple of luxury tastes has made these pure protein wonders between shells heralded by everyone from nobles to everyday folk.

Fortune Fish & Gourmet is excited to announce the arrival of shipments of the Old 1871 Oyster. This Virginia-grown oyster is a summer tribute both to Chicago's storied passion for oysters, which were long traded for pork to the East Coast.

And according to legend, the Windy City's blaze-battling firefighters for Engine Company No. 3 were dining on these large-sized, Virginia-bred oysters, known for their salty, full-bodied flavor and rich meats with hints of brine, grass and celery, before called to battle the city's most notorious, late-nineteenth century blaze.

"We are excited to release a Virginia oyster grown in the same style that socialites and firemen enjoyed in the Oyster Saloons of Chicago in the 1870s," said Fortune Fish & Gourmet's Vice-President of Marketing Mark Palicki.

"I think Old 1871 Oysters represent the bravery and determination of the people of Chicago with a robust flavor and deep cups, the way an oyster should be.”

Palicki and his Fortune peers visited East Coast oyster farms last fall and hand-selected the optimal growing space for the Old 1871. The fruits of their labor are these delicious Old 1871s. With a deep, elongated cup, they're a perfect receptacle for the thick meats made super flavorful by the cold, salty Atlantic tides.

Downtown Chicago's GT Fish & Oyster at 531 N. Wells St., has large ice-packed tanks of these delicious specialty oyster finds ready to be gobbled up by hungry sorts. FYI: (312) 929-3501

Fortune Fish & Gourmet is a Bensenville, Ill. based seafood processor and distributor providing white-tablecloth restaurants, private clubs, elegant hotels and independent, gourmet retail stores with fine quality fresh, live and frozen seafood and gourmet foods. Their supplier base ranges from individual fishermen, small family farms to multi-national aquaculture and agriculture firms. Headquartered only minutes from O'Hare International Airport's cargo docks, Fortune Fish & Gourmet handles more than 8,000 seafood and gourmet products and services customers in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and Michigan with a fleet of more than 43 refrigerated vehicles. FYI: fortunefishco.net or (630) 860-7100.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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