Pacific oyster, Japanese oyster
Pacific Northwest oysters are mild and sweet, with a briny flavor and crisp texture. Those from California have a slightly stronger taste. As with all oyster species, flavor depends on the waters in which it is grown. The deeply cupped, elongated shell is curly, thick and silvery gray to gold. Meat is creamy white, sometimes with a dark fringe around the mantle. Shell and meat colors vary by region and season.Oyster meats should be plump and juicy. Dramatic meat discoloration suggests poor quality, but slight shades of pink, green or black may reflect diet and regional conditions. How do you know if an oyster’s alive? Just tap on the shell to see if it closes. Or sniff: A dead oyster smells like sulfur.
Live: Singles or clusters (“clumps”) Fresh: Halfshell, Shucked meats Frozen: Whole, Halfshell, Shucked meats Value-added: Canned meats (soups and stews), Smoked meats, Breaded (frozen), Entrées (frozen)
Eastern oysters, European oysters
Aficionados enjoy Pacific oysters on the halfshell. For a special dipping sauce, mix 1/4 cup soy sauce, 4 teaspoons of apple cider (or 2 of white vinegar), 2 teaspoons of Japanese hot red pepper, 1 teaspoon of toasted white sesame seeds, 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1 finely chopped green onion. Try whole oysters on the grill; when the shell opens, they’re done. With any method, cook just till the meat plumps or the mantle curls.
Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Spain, United States, UK