Partner Spotlight: In A Half Shell

This week’s Partner Spotlight is on Julie Qiu, the blogger and Oyster Connoisseur behind In A Half Shell. In addition to being a bivalve expert, she’s the fabulous teacher behind the Skillshare class Raw, Alive, Delicious! 8 Elements to Oyster Mastery. Be sure to stop by her site and tell her hello! 

Name: Julie Qiu Julie Qiu

In A Half Shell

New York

Why is sustainability important to you?
Sustainability, simply put, does good. It’s good for society, good for the environment, and good for business. It helps ensure that future generations can enjoy the same quality of life that we have right now.

Why did you start blogging?
I’ve always had a passion for writing, photography, and sharing ideas. In 2008, I started out by creating a food photography blog. Less than a year in, I felt the need to evolve it into something more unique and focused. Around then, I was on a personal mission to become an oyster connoisseur, and so I thought, “why not write exclusively about my oyster adventures?” Nobody was blogging about it at the time, yet there was so much to cover!!!

Describe your blog in ten words or less:
Showcasing the world’s most exceptional oyster varieties, growers, and destinations.

What’s your favorite type of seafood?
I’m actually very fond of every sort of seafood — shellfish, crustaceans, cephalopods, and fish — but there’s nothing quite like slurping down a fresh, live oyster.

What do you look for when you shop for sustainable seafood?
The same thing you look for in real estate: location, location, location. By that I mean what is the source — who grows it / where was it harvested from? Traceability is critical. When I shop for oysters, I always ask two things: who’s the grower and when were they harvested? Wild oysters should also come from a very specific body of water. Fortunately, all oysters are required to come with a bag tag that has this information.

What’s your favorite seafood recipe?
I prefer to eat freshly shucked oysters, “naked,” (the oyster, not me), there are a few wonderful accoutrements that help enhance the flavor. I don’t have a specific favorite, but have a handful of go-to recipes on my post about, “How to Enjoy Oysters At Home.”

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