The loud crack of an oyster shell fills the room

May 3, 2014

The loud crack of an oyster shell fills the room, just one of thousands joining the pile of emptied shells on the line. The fresh meat, transferred within minutes, is rinsed off and quickly cooled. This entire process is done mostly by hand, by local hands that have done it for years.

This may sound like a blast from the past, but in a time where much is done by machine, the Bayou La Batre seafood industry remains largely untouched by the mechanical revolution. Boats line much of this water-filled town, many with colorful names like "Ursula" and "Innovation". These same ships collect the oysters, shrimp, and crab that stock seafood companies like Dominik's and Junior Barbour's Seafood every day. Perhaps this "kept locally" attitude is what make many decide that this small town has the biggest and best taste when it comes to seafood in all of Alabama.

The Bayou is not only home to many of Alabama's top seafood industries, the town's residents also have a sweet tooth. Sugar Rush, a locally owned bakery, churns out some of the best doughnuts this always-indulging sugar fiend has ever tasted. Maple Bacon, Glazed, and jelly-filled doughnuts are just a small taste of what this quickly expanding bakery has to offer.

Not to be overshadowed by the amazing eats, the beauty of this hidden gem takes one's breath away. Local birds fly by large, hulking steel masses. Dotting the coastline are ships sunk hull-deep in the brine of the Gulf, providing an eerie look into days gone by. Warm, temperate breezes lend the perfect atmosphere for a day on the Pontoon boat with both family and friends.

Despite it's amazing food and gorgeous views, however, this town is ghost like in many of the summer months. During this season the colorful boats tug out for months at a time, taking with them much of the local population. The only people left to enjoy the quiet life are often the workers cracking oyster shells day after day, as well as the birds themselves. So, why not this summer make the bayou by them the bayou by you? This mobillian thinks you'll walk away with more than the hearty smell of fresh cooked seafood on your clothes.

This mobillian thinks you'll walk away with more than the hearty smell of fresh cooked seafood on your clothes.

- 14 year old resident, Author