Chatham Oyster History

Chatham OysterSee image licensing info

Chatham oysters have been cultivated in Oyster Pond near Chatham, MA on the southeastern tip of Cape Code for over 30 years.  And before that, there used to be oyster growers on the Chatham’s Oyster Pond River where wild Chathams still grow to this day.  This historic area was originally settled by the Monomoyick Indians who used the land for farming, hunting and fishing.  It later was settled by the English and used as a center for whaling and commercial fishing fleets.  Today the region is a popular summer resort area.

Steve Wright has managed the lease site for the past decade and his expertise is evident in these great oysters.  Careful husbandry yields oysters with deep cups, sculptured hard shells which are easy to open, firm meats, and superb flavor.  Chatham Oysters are primarily grown with the rack and bag method, although a small percentage is grown on the bottom.  This secondary growth method allows the oysters to be available year around since the icy winter months can be devastating to rack & bag methods of cultivation.  They also offer a special limited market oyster labeled as the Chatham Private Stock which are available for a premium price.

Chatham Oyster Flavor Profile Characteristics

The Chatham oyster has a hard shell with gray-green and brown accents.  They have rich, firm meats with a “slap you in the face” brininess, a sweet taste and a mild mineral finish.

Chatham Oyster
Location Oyster Pond, Chatham, Cape Cod, MA
Species Virginica Oyster (Crassostrea virginica)
Oyster Availability Year Around
Size up to 3″
Oyster Cultivation Mostly Rack & Bag; some Bottom Cultured
Oyster Flavor Profile Chatham Oysters have rich, firm meats with a “slap you in the face” brininess, a sweet taste and a mild mineral finish.

See proper shellfish storage methods for the best way to maintain the shelf life and flavor of your oysters. Also, check-out our list of where to buy raw oysters.


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