Food critics and restaurant owners from Miami and New Orleans say Apalachicola Bay oysters are among the finest in the world, if not the finest.
Chefs of fancy restaurants in Charleston, S.C., where mediocre seafood will be sent back, prize them above oysters from their native coast. Even some Easterners prefer their taste to oysters from the waters of Chesapeake Bay and Long Island Sound.
Edward Ward, who has been eating Apalachicola oysters for most of his 70 years, knows they are good enough for his dog, Sugar Bear.
''I ain't met a dog yet who doesn't love these oysters,'' said Mr. Ward, who places them on saltine crackers with a drop of hot sauce for Sugar Bear. ''Went through a whole 99-cent pound of crackers yesterday.''...