Shucking Boards

 My regular shucking set up- knife, glove (no, I don't bare hand. I'm no hero), shucking block, rag, and oysters. Pretty standard, but nothing fancy.

My regular shucking set up- knife, glove (no, I don't bare hand. I'm no hero), shucking block, rag, and oysters. Pretty standard, but nothing fancy.

I am not really a purist when it comes to shucking oysters. As many of you who have seen my how-to shucking video (which if you haven't seen it, is here) know already, I can pretty much take my "essentials" anywhere- a knife, a glove, a board, a rag and some oysters. The only thing I've ever really been picky about is the knife- which I prefer to be a hinge knife.

However, thanks to a local company, Wye River Provisioners, that might change. They sent me a little package over the holidays, and inside was a glove, a knife, and a pretty little shucking board- the perfect oyster shucking kit.

 Wye River Provisioners' shucking kit

Wye River Provisioners' shucking kit

Once I had unpacked everything from its tidy little bag, it gathered a little dust over the holidays while I ate oysters pretty much everywhere but home. However, around the time I got back from France I found I had a real hankering for local oysters- plus I had my fancy new oyster knives from Paris to test. So, while I was at it, I tried out my new shucking kit.

Friends, my normal shucking block is a piece of driftwood I picked up at Eastern Neck Island. It is not fancy. This shucking board was on a whole new level. It is canted to raise the oyster up for a better shucking angle, the wood is beautifully grained and dove-tail joined, and there's even an oyster-shaped divot in the middle. Compared to my driftwood board, it is seriously cadillac.

The result? A prettily-shucked oyster, and a nice presentation- especially since the board wasn't dripping oyster liquor all over the place.

All in all, I have to give Wye River Provisioners props for seriously elevating a normally-overlooked oyster essential. Plus, the business was started by two St. Mary's College of Maryland grads, from a shop in Queenstown on Maryland's Eastern Shore, so it means you can shop local (or at least, know what you're getting is the real Chesapeake deal).

Want to get your own board? Check out the Wye River Provisioners website or their Etsy shop here

 Thanks, Wye River Provisioners! I love my sexy new shucking board!

Thanks, Wye River Provisioners! I love my sexy new shucking board!