Saturday, January 21, 2012

Oyster F.Y.I.

Beau Soleil Miramichi Bay, New Brunswick, Canada

Cultivated on suspension lines in the chilly waters off the eastern reaches of the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick, Canada.  These cocktail oysters have surprisingly high meat yields and a briny flavor, reinforcing the axiom that good things come in small packages.

Blue Point Long Island Sound, Connecticut/New York U.S.A.

This traditional Bluepoint is started from a natural set in the Long Island Sound.  The juvenile oysters are relayed to several select sites where they are cultured into beautiful half shell oysters. These classic Bluepoints are a consistently sized, meaty oyster with a sweet, delicate finish.

Conway Cup Conway Narrows, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Sourced from the Conway Narrows, in Northwestern P.E.I., these deep-cupped oysters are a terrific half shell variety.  The Conway’s mild salinity and sweet, clean finish will be a welcome addition to any oyster menu.  Conway Cups are available more or less year round, and are available everyday without a pre-order.

Salvation Cove Salvation Cove, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Harvested in Prince Edward Island these standard oysters are competitively priced, and will please those on the most austere of budgets.  Looking for P.E.I. quality, salinity, and flavor at a rate more comparable to that of a mid-Atlantic/Gulf variety?  This is the oyster for you.

Tatamagouche – Northumberland Strait, Nova Scotia, Canada

Tatamagouche oysters are grown and harvested in the waters of the Northumberland Strait of northern Nova Scotia, Canada.  The Tatamagouche are representative of exactly how good a wild oyster can be.  Shell strength is terrific, and the meats possess a distinctive brininess which smacks of the North Atlantic.

Wellfleet - Wellfleet, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Grown out and harvested in the well-protected confines of inner Cape Cod, these large, deep-cupped oysters possess a medium to high level of salinity.  The Gulf of Maine provides the inner-cape with a ceaseless supply of nutrients, and provides an idyllic setting for the grow-out of oysters.  To many, the Wellfleet has come to epitomize everything a New England oyster should be.

Comox Petite – Baynes Sound, British Columbia, Canada
The Comox Petites are beach grown on the northern end of Baynes Sound.  The tiny shells (+/- 1.5”-2” in diameter) are deeply cupped, and contain meats which are dark and velvety.  The medium salinity of the Comox Petites is followed by a mild, cucumber finish.100 count.

Eagle CreekHood Canal, Washington, U.S.A.
Eagle Creek oysters are grown out on the inter-tidal tribal leases which line the shores of Washington State’s Hood Canal.  Twice daily, the tides recede, exposing the Eagle Creeks to the air.  This actually strengthens the Eagle Creek’s adductor muscles, and conditions the oysters to close tightly when removed from the water, which helps them to retain their liquor after harvest.  Eagle Creeks are graded as large choice oysters, and the flavor profile is marked by a pleasant balance of salinity and minerals.

Gigamoto Puget Sound, Washington, U.S.A.
Enterprising aquaculturists in Deep Bay, British Columbia create this oyster which combines many of the highly desirable physical characteristics of the Japanese Kumamoto; and the relatively fast grow out Pacific oyster. Flavors associated with the Gigamotos are oft described as sweet, creamy, and nutty.

Goose Spit – Baynes Sound, British Columbia, Canada
Goose spit oysters are grown out alongside the Comox Petites, and as such share many of the same complexities of flavor.  Overall size, however, is markedly more robust.  Goose Spits are coming in at roughly 2.5”-3”, and shells are both deeply fluted and vibrantly colored.

Hood Canal Hood Canal, Washington, U.S.A.
Hood Canal oysters epitomize what is expected from a Pacific oyster.  The deep, fluted shell is ideal for retention of the precious liquor. And the full meats which possess complex flavors ranging from salty to sweet which is sure to delight novices as well as connoisseurs.

Quilcene Dabob Bay, Washington, U.S.A.
The Quilcene is beach cultured in the Northwest end of Dabob Bay (which is fed by the Hood Canal) Washington.  Beach grown oysters produce a shell of exceptional strength compared to other Pacific oysters.  The plump meats possess a supple texture and a medium salinity leading to a sweet finish.

Sun Hollow – Lower Hood Canal, Washington, U.S.A.
Sun Hollow oysters are grown out in the most extreme reaches of the inter-tidal zone.  As such, they are more or less constantly submerged in the nutrient rich waters of the Lower Hood Canal.  The Sun Hollows are all grown out on leases granted to and maintained by the indigenous Native American peoples of the region, and the fishery is run in a completely ecologically sound and environmentally sustainable fashion.  Meats are full and plump, and have a medium salinity.

Tree Island – Baynes Sound, British Columbia, Canada
Tree Island oysters are grown out away from Vancouver Island, and as such, have a slightly greater salinity than the oysters from neighboring tenures.  Shells are hard, colorful, and meats which possess the rich creaminess of texture and flavor which defines Baynes Sound oysters.


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