FOOD: Shell Game

Early each morning last week four broad-beamed, 80-ft. oyster boats chugged into Little Peconic Bay near the end of Long Island. Over the boats' sides with a clank and a clatter, down 60 feet to the bottom of the bay, went 200-lb. iron dredges; up they came with 12 to 15 bushels of oysters apiece. On deck, nimble-fingered crewmen sorted them, according to size, for the Atlantic City and Philadelphia markets. Restaurants there sell oysters the year round. Elsewhere in the U.S. it will be another week before "Oysters-R-in-season" again.*

Boss of the four Peconic Bay boats is burly (6 ft.,...

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