The “Eastern Oyster” (Crassostrea Virginica) is hailed as one of the world’s greatest oysters. Sadly, little is known of it outside of its homeland along the eastern seacoast of the USA. This is probably because these prized shellfish are almost entirely consumed locally!
According to one noted authority, these are “far more American than apple pie”, and “if you want a primordial American dish, unchanged for ten thousand years, it’s virginicas raw or grilled over coals”.
Eastern oysters are large, ugly, and briny. They are noted for reflecting the sea and often the word meroir is often used to evoke the same taste images that the word terroir brings up for wine. Although these oysters live all along the Atlantic coast of the USA, the specific waters in which they grow define their flavor characteristics. But they do taste of the sea and, depending on how they are handled and grown, of not much else. That is, until you chew, and chew, and continue chewing. For it is in the chewing that the oyster reveals its hidden flavors and nuances. As the same authority quoted above, states:
“A virginica can stand up to a lot of chewing, its flavor evolving all the time. In fact, you have to chew to get much, other than salt, out of a virginica.”
Although some names of Eastern Oysters such as Wellfleets and Bluepoints are famous, we think that there are other less famous names which deserve attention, and it is these that we present in our catalog.
We have taken special care to select those farms where the farmers are careful to produce outstanding oysters. Some of these farms provision a number of the best restaurants in the USA. The result is that our catalog represents a selection of tastes and sizes and visual appeal (although our authority on oysters also states: ”Look at an Eastern oyster and you see a hard bitten New Englander. The thick shell and lack of adornment. The simple, salty flavor. Clearly this is an oyster that is conditioned by many brutal winters … “).
Although best consumed chilled on the half-shell, our oysters are quite adaptable to various cuisines around the world.
We have found that they best show off their hidden tastes when
- grilled and served with a tab of butter melted over them;
- served as maki-sushi
- deep fried Chinese style with salt and pepper
- and especially wonderful served in a Thai oyster omelette
We highly recommend a sparkling wine such as a Spanish cava, or a good lager beer to accompany them, regardless of how they are served.
Please contact us for specific recommendations and recipes, and we are happy to share them with you.