A new oyster knife, recipes, restaurant recommendations, tips & more
A new oyster knife, recipes, restaurant recommendations, tips & more
Apalachicola oysters on the half shell. (Photo by Cedric Angeles)
October 10, 2017

Oyster Season Essentials

A new oyster knife performs a neat magic trick—making sure there’s a second helping
“Sorry I missed your call earlier,” Casey Davidson says. Even over the phone, he sounds like he’s smiling. “I was out on the water all morning. Great day for redfish.” Raised in Beaufort, South Carolina, and a graduate of College of Charleston, Davidson has never been far from the water. In fact, it’s steered his career, lobbying with the Coastal Conservation Association, working for a fishing tackle company, and, last January, founding Toadfish Outfitters, an eco-conscious outdoor-product company based in Charleston. Toadfish’s first piece of gear: The versatile Put ’Em Back oyster knife.
Davidson developed ten iterations of the knife over four years, which included a year-and-a-half trial run at Charleston’s 167 Raw, before releasing the final product. It has a steel full tang blade bent just so, with the tip forming a slight cup that easily pops oysters open whether they’re raw or roasted, Lowcountry style. The sculpted handle—made from recycled plastic bottles—has enough heft to fit a shucker’s palm and a small thumb indentation just below the flared guard that helps give extra leverage. 
Best of all, a portion of every $38 knife sold helps fund the restoration of ten square feet of oyster habitat along the Southeastern coast. “Everything we love about our coastal lifestyles depends on oysters,” Davidson says, as a healthy oyster population is imperative for maintaining water quality. So far, Toadfish has donated $24,000 to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program, among others—that’s more than three thousand square feet of oyster reef. “You can’t keep people from polluting the water,” Davidson says. “No matter what, everything comes down stream and will end up in the Charleston Harbor. But this is something we can do.”  
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