The Bayshore Center at Bivalve may be in a remote part of the Delaware Bay, out on the edge of Commercial Township eight miles south of Millville.

But lots of people find their way who are interested in the region’s history and culture — and its food.

A sellout crowd descended on the tiny hamlet Thursday night for the opening of the spring speaker series. It was an oyster and wine tasting event, said program manager Chase Jackson.

It included five wild or farmed varieties of oysters from the Delaware and Barnegat bays, raw and in tapas plates prepared by Chef Buono of the Greenview Inn in Vineland. The oyster dishes were paired with wines suggested by the Garden State Wine Grower’s Association.

The fried oyster po-boy slider was made with a Cape May Salt Oyster Co. farmed oyster from the Delaware Bay. The dish was paired with a chardonnay from Natali Vineyards of Goshen in Middle Township, and a merlot from Jessie Creek Winery of Dias Creek in Middle Township.

The wild-caught Delaware Bay oyster from Bivalve Packing was grilled and paired with a chardonnay from Natali and a Sunset rose from Jessie Creek.

Lisa Calvo, of the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory in Port Norris, spoke on the state of oysters in New Jersey, Jackson said.

The event was sponsored by the Cape May Salt Oyster Co. and Forty North Oyster Farms.

The center, founded in 1988 to restore the 1928 oyster schooner the A.J. Meerwald, now includes a museum, cafe, educational programming and volunteer program. The Meerwald is now New Jersey’s official tall ship, and it sails from April to October, said Jackson.

In addition to the speaker series, the center holds its Second Friday program every month from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Each one celebrates a topic about Delaware Bay with live music, an oyster raw bar, Jersey Fresh wine and beer, a lecture, crafts and specials in its Oyster Cracker Cafe.

The next is April 13 and will celebrate a new captain and crew for the Meerwald, said Jackson.

“We will introduce the new crew and captain to the audience,” she said. “We are celebrating getting ready to go under sail in April.”

Mark Showers, board president of the Bayshore Center, recently announced Capt. Johann Steinke will be captain for the 2018 sailing season.

Born in Canada, Steinke has worked and lived on many different tall ships over the past 12 years, such as schooners and square riggers. He even took an epic journey on a replica Viking warship, according to the center.

He has published a children’s book, “The Greatest Captain in the World.” But it’s not an autobiography, he said.

The cafe reopens April 13 after being closed for the winter, and its hours will be Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., said Jackson.

For information, see bayshorecenter.org.

Contact: 609-272-7219 MPost@pressofac.com Twitter @MichelleBPost Facebook.com/EnvironmentSouthJersey

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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