Oysters, oysters and (no) more oysters

Cols. Donald “Ed” Jackson tongs for oysters in Apalachicola Bay

Cols. Donald “Ed” Jackson tongs for oysters in Apalachicola Bay

David Adlerstein
Published: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:26 AM.


If there was one story that dominated the news pages this year, it was all about oysters. The good, the bad and the beautiful.

First came the good news, a shattering second-year success for Apalachicola ’s annual Oyster Cookoff in January.

“It’s been awesome,” said Marisa Getter, one of the event’s key organizers. “Look at all these people. So far so good, this is awesome.”

Caroline and Jeff Ilardi, took top honors with their Tupelo Oysters, raw oysters topped with kumquat jelly, kumquat pulp, jalapeno peppers, tupelo honey, rice wine vinegar and chopped shallots.

By mid year, though, there was clearly trouble beginning to brew in the oyster industry.

In May, a directive from federal immigration officials led to the dismissal of 41 Hispanic workers from Apalachicola’s Leavins Seafood, due to their failure to comply with regulations they produce valid documentation of their right to work in the United States.

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