Jenn Hall

Edible Jersey: How Rutgers Revitalized an Industry – 2018 IACP Award for Narrative Food Writing

The next time you dive into a plate of Eastern oysters—the species known as Crassostrea virginica, native to the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coast—tip your half-shell to Rutgers before you recycle it. Were it not for the late Harold H. Haskin, university researcher and namesake of the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory at the Rutgers Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, that raw bar that just moved into town might not be there.

Roll back the clock, and the turn-of-the-19th-century docks along the Delaware Bay were pulsing with activity. Oyster harvests, ranging from 1 million to 2 million bushels, remained steady through the ’50s and transformed baymen into millionaires.

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Published in the High-Summer 2017 issue

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