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Favorite Oysters?

  • j

What are yours? Also, what condiments do you add to yours?

I prefer mine with just red wine vinagrette.

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  1. Kumamotos, pretty please, straight up.

    1 Reply
    1. re: amyleechen

      Salt Pond Selects from Rhode Island if you like an oyster big enough to taste! No condements needed.....

    2. I have to second Kumamotos.

      Hama Hama and Totten as well. Straight, no accoutraments.

      1. Kumamotos. Sometimes a drop of lemon juice.

        1. I LOVE Belon and Fine de Claire. Really like the sea water salty taste

          1 Reply
          1. re: kobetobiko

            belons are very delicious, just add one or two drops of squeezed lemon and you are good to go.

          2. kunamotos with lemon; cape may oyster neat.

            1. Malpeques, straight up, ice-cold and fresh.

              4 Replies
                1. re: Atahualpa


                  Straight up is best but I'll add hot sauce, horseradish or lemon or a combination there of as a change.


                  1. re: Davwud

                    Fourth. With maybe a drop of Tabasco and/or a squirt of lemon or a touch of fresh horseradish and a squirt of lemon, depending on mood. A dozen, please.

                    1. re: buttertart

                      Fifth, with lemon. Malpeques are the gift of the gods.

              1. Raspberry Point Malpeques.

                I go to a local oyster house (Rodney's Oyster House in Toronto) that offers 21 different condiments. I usually go with lemon and cocktail or a dash of hot sauce.

                For all the Kumamoto fans, give them a try with lime instead of lemon. A shucker friend of mine recommended it and I prefer them with lime now.

                3 Replies
                  1. re: wildphoenix

                    that 'soul' sauce at Rodney's is pretty darn good

                    1. re: wildphoenix

                      Ah, I used to work in Toronto and Rodney's was my favorite place to go. I miss it!

                    2. Kummamotos as well. However I've been hearing about Olympias lately here on the West coast. Any opinions?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mellycooks

                        It's been a while since I have had any, but I don't recall being overly excited by the Olympias. They were good, certainly, but not so much to make one clap their hands and say yeah!

                      2. Chincoteagues straight up, raw, naked!!!
                        Aw maybe a little lemon

                        1. Add me to the Kumamoto list or however you spell it. I live in CT and only want the west coasters. I Seattle last summer and was in heaven, the creamist kumamotos I ever ate.

                          I sometime like just vinegar ans chopped shallots, other time a little hot sauce or horseradish. Depends on my mood.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: jfood

                            I also enjoy Kumamotos though I live on the east coast, but we've got some fine oysters here as well. We particularly enjoy Wellfleet oysters for the saltiness and the sheer joy of being on the cape.

                            1. re: Kater

                              Yum... I am a big fan of Wellfleets too!

                          2. Pickle Points
                            Raspberry Points
                            Rocky Bays

                            Essentially, any oyster from Prince Edward Island.

                            6 Replies
                              1. re: thegolferbitch

                                I am jealous but I would go poor eating shellfish up there. I hear they have great mussels and potatoes too.

                              2. re: CDouglas

                                YOu should try the colville bay ones from PEI. Awesome!

                                1. re: troutpoint

                                  Thanks for the rec, definitely added to the list. I just checked out the Colville Bay Oyster Co. website and I am intrigued by the aqua-green shell. Sounds like these have that famous "taste of the ocean" brininess that makes PEIs so addictive to me.

                                2. re: CDouglas

                                  PEI! PEI! I am so with you on PEI. That water is so good. And Virginicas have the great meaty texture that I prefer.

                                  P.S. I've yet to have the famous Belon of the European Atlantic. So, my oyster experience is, yet, incomplete. But, I'll trudge on!

                                  1. re: charonelson

                                    After running the table with as many PEIs as are available to you don't miss out on Kumamoto oysters. They may be small but they pack the biggest briny-ocean-meaty punch of any oyster three times the size.

                                    PEIs will always be my first choice from even the most extensive oyster menu.

                                3. Damariscotta River (technically not a river, actually a long ocean inlet) oysters from Maine. Dash of lemon

                                  1. Kumamotos, with the tiniest bit of mignonette sauce.

                                    1. Martha's Vineyards, straight up

                                      1. Duxbury - plump and so briney! I like to mix it up and use any combo of hot sauce/horseradish/coctail sauce/lemon - or nothing at all.

                                          1. Kumamotos, with fresh lemon juice and tabasco.

                                            1. Speaking of oysters, do you guys do mail order? Or just go to local markets?

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: JoLi

                                                Don't about anyone else, but go to the local market or raw bar
                                                I'm an old school guy can't seem to eat oyters unless the month has an "r" in it

                                                1. re: Hue

                                                  The "R" rule of thumb is still important as oysters still spawn ;)

                                              2. KUMAMOTOS!!!!!! yumyumyuym

                                                  1. Wellfleet from Cape cod and Damariscotta from Maine. Kumumotos are very small by comparison. Love them with good old fashioned cocktail sauce mixed with horseradish and tabasco.

                                                    1. Cheasapeake Bay with habenero mignonette sauce. I am East Coast all the way when it comes to Oysters. Applaciacola are nice too.

                                                      1. Fresh off the boat Apalachicola's with nothing on them but the liquor.

                                                        1. Wow... just had some Kushi oysters over the weekend. They have jumped to number 1 on my list at par with Kumamotos.

                                                          1. Wellfleets and Raspberry Points for me. If anyone's interested, American Mussel Harvesters ( http://www.americanmussel.com/clients... ) seems to have a very fine selection, and they really did right by me for my last New Years party.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Booklegger451

                                                              I LOVE Fanny Bay oysters, from the coastline of British Columbia. They have an ineffable sweetness that lingers after the cucumber finish.

                                                            2. Definitly Salt Pond Selects from Snug Harbor Rhode Island for an east coast. As for a west coast i love the totten virginicas!

                                                              1. I live on Vancouver Island, so I am spoiled by an embarrassment of riches when it comes to local seafood. My favourites are Fanny Bay (fat and delicious) oysters and Salt Spring Island (sweet and plump) mussels. I like my oysters with horseradish.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: victoriafoodie

                                                                  I'll second Fanny Bay, also Belon, truly memorable oysters.

                                                                2. Wellfleet and Duxbury oysters. yay.

                                                                  1. Hama Hama (Pacific) oysters, best eaten plucked straight off the beach and cracked open on the spot!

                                                                    1. blue points are my favorite in february. big, plump, juicy. sometimes a squeeze of lemon, sometimes not. the february blue points don't need much in the way of enhancement. my only advice is seek out a place that can command the best.

                                                                      1. I would practically swim the St. Lawrence to the Atlantic to go get me some Tatamagouche (PEI)! Nothing comes close for me... I looove these oysters.
                                                                        But, my second class faves are Kusshi (BC), Beausoleil (NB), Raspberry Pt.(PEI) , Wellfleet (MA) and Kumamoto (WA/CA).
                                                                        For condiments, I like mignonette or just lemon with cracked pepper. Easy on the condiments, though! I like to taste my oysters.

                                                                        1. Although I do enjoy many varieties, and can find such beauties in my Texas city as bluepoints, Hama Hama, Chatham Bay, Malpeque, Salute and Hamachi. We have an abundance of the Gulf oyster here, and rather cheap. I am able to find them served as low as 3.00 a dozen. large, plump, fresh and delicious.

                                                                          Katrina wreaked havoc on us a few years back wiping out 95% of the oyster population, but they seemed to have somewhat recovered.

                                                                          I enjoy them straight from the shell raw, or on a cracker with a concoction of horse radish, chili sauce, tabasco and maybe a dash of worcestershire. I like em grilled too, but rarely if ever go fried. Love a good oyster and a cold beer. Did I read about a habenero mignonette? OMG I gotta try that.

                                                                          1. West Coast gigas are the best. That's what they grow in Brittany. I find East Coast virginicas kind of bland and inconsistent. Too bad, I live in NY, and West Coast oysters are hard to come by here, and supply can be erratic

                                                                            My favorites: Snow Creek by Tom and Marie Madsen, and Fanny Bay. Penn Cove Select are fine too.

                                                                            My top choice would be the European flat (belons), especially those that Tom and Marie used to grow in Snow Creek. Too bad they don't grow them any more because of the disease that struck the whole area. Still looking for a replacement, hence going to France as often as I can...lol

                                                                            1. Now about pairing oysters with a drink. Dry wine, red or white is fine, Champagne Brut, but the best match is BEER. Try that combination with flats in Ireland or Zeeland (Holland), and you are in heaven...

                                                                              About condiments, who said oysters need condiments? Just a twist of white pepper from the mill brings up their true flavor, although I have become partial to the Raspberry Granité recently...

                                                                              Also there is nothing wrong with a little cultured butter, salted, on a slice of buckwheat bread (that's how they eat oysters in Brittany, and all over France).

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: YvesNY

                                                                                the best match is a vodka gimlet, straight up, colder than the heart of the witch of endor.

                                                                                1. re: YvesNY

                                                                                  A daiginjo or junmai daiginjo sake works well with light seafood in general and oysters in particular. I think there's something about alcohol produced from grains that is the key.

                                                                                2. I've been enjoying Saltaires lately, with a squirt of lemon and a speck of Tabasco.

                                                                                  1. I love Connecticut Blue Points, Damariscottas, and Nasketucket Bays, but Noanks are far and away my favorite.
                                                                                    I take the first few plain, then work in horseradish and lemon or hot sauce and lemon to every other one. Always with a glass of stout or porter.

                                                                                    1. Gay Island, Maine oysters: http://www.gayislandoysters.com/, Blue Point, damariscottas (and the oyster festival, any on the board at The Oyster Bar, Grand Central Station, NYC; been going there for 45 years!
                                                                                      Plain as God intended or w/ a squeeze of lemon.

                                                                                      1. Know what i see here? A bunch of sissies! Who cares what the oyster is, just make sure I have a huge bottle of Tabasco, and some fresh horseradish. Laisser le bon temps rouler, dames !

                                                                                        13 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: skeebeaux

                                                                                          way to start a reputation on your first post.every oyster has a different taste, that i think is the main point

                                                                                          1. re: skeebeaux

                                                                                            Tobasco & horseradish? You don't know oysters from hot dogs, son.

                                                                                            1. re: skeebeaux

                                                                                              If you have to throw hot sauce & horseradish all over your oysters, I think maybe you don't like oysters.

                                                                                              1. re: small h

                                                                                                Skeebeaux is someone who enjoys Gulf Oysters. Not something that everyone has a taste for but something everyone should experience. They are an inexpensive and refreshing change from the rarified, $4 Malpeques and Duck Islands.

                                                                                                While some may look at them as a little less refined than their northern, cold-water cousins, they do have their fans. When I'm in New Orleans, it's hard to pass up a trip to Casamentos or any of the innumerable of oyster houses for a few dozen.

                                                                                                If you haven't had Gulf Oysters at a roast or on the grill or raw with (yes) tobasco and horseradish, you stand to learn something about the American oyster experience. It is as entrenched and as storied as the raw bars of Manhattan. Even if you have and don't like them, don't malign the tastes of someone else.

                                                                                                1. re: Ernie Diamond

                                                                                                  I've had gulf oysters (raw) plenty of times, sometimes with horseradish and hot sauce, sometimes with lemon, sometimes with nothing. I like them fine. And I'm not maligning anyone's taste - I'm responding negatively to someone who mocked every contributor on this thread for caring enough about oysters to distinguish one from another. And I'd do it again.

                                                                                                  1. re: small h

                                                                                                    Indeed—most oyster connoisseurs would note that the sissies (she says teasingly) are the ones who have to cover the flavor of oysters with condiments in order to eat them.

                                                                                                    1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                      It isn't a contest. What if I said that oyster connoisseurs only eat Belons and the rest are for sissies?

                                                                                                      PS - I don't mean to be a nag, I just thought it was a little unfair that this first-time poster was derided for saying what s/he liked, even if it was expressed a little indelicately.

                                                                                                      1. re: Ernie Diamond

                                                                                                        That's the point, I think, that small h and I are making here. Chowhound's not for knocking others, it's for loving up the chow. (Which is why I noted I was teasing, presumably in kind.)

                                                                                                        So welcome, skeebeaux, and rest assured the passion stirred up by oysters is only the beginning. Try a sushi, pizza, or a BBQ thread—it's like a virtual bar fight.

                                                                                                        1. re: Ernie Diamond

                                                                                                          the point is not to call them sissies for discussing something that they have interest in,a sissy would be someone who dirts other people in their first(and apparently last)post.

                                                                                                    2. re: Ernie Diamond

                                                                                                      ED you bring back a great memory.

                                                                                                      jfood was traveling in Alabama somewhere and driving back to the airport when he was asked if he wanted to try some gulf oysters. Yup, jfood was up to it. They drove up to a run down shack and jfood stared. Huh, this is it? Yup. So they walked in and sat on picnic tables and stared around the room. There, covering every square inch of the walls were different hot sauces, thousands of them, in all levels of heat. We ordered a ton of oysters. They took a mesh sack and dumped a hundred oysters on the counter and proceeded to pull out the "bad" ones. then we ate who knows how many oysters in the next hour, with different hot sauces, each bringing a different experience to the oyster. Absolutely fantastic.

                                                                                                      And if anyone would have called any of the regulars a "sissie" you would have been all set to try out for the soprano role in the next community theatre.

                                                                                                        1. re: Ernie Diamond

                                                                                                          That is too cool! And FWIW, I eat oysters both with stuff and without—spice of life and all that. I just think it's important to at least try them naked.

                                                                                                        2. re: jfood

                                                                                                          Man oh man, heaven on earth. jfood must have been beside himself.

                                                                                                  2. Kumamotos.Wife and I had 2 dozen about 3 weeks ago from Oregon oyster farms.With lemon dill sauce.OMG.

                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: davecrf

                                                                                                      Kumamoto is a new one to me. To those who've had Malpeques, how do they compare?

                                                                                                      I'm hoping the places I've found Malpeques (few and far between) will have Kumamotos.

                                                                                                      1. re: anonymouse1935

                                                                                                        They're a West Coast oyster - the shell is rounder and about 3/4 the size of a Malpeque - and the meat about half. A bit stronger flavored than Malpeques, I like them as well but prefer the Malpeque flavor.

                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                          Thanks, buttertart. I wonder if they'll get to the East.

                                                                                                          On cooked oysters, I've had them grilled at a restaurant on Long Island and they were amazing.

                                                                                                          1. re: anonymouse1935

                                                                                                            Rarely out here A. Jfood heading to a great fish place tomorrow night and hope they have some Malpeques and Kumamoto. If you do find the latter ask to see them before they shuck because they can be very small onthe east coast.


                                                                                                            1. re: anonymouse1935

                                                                                                              I think they usually have them at Tracks in Penn Station if that's convenient in any way for you - they have a nice raw bar and the food is better than you'd expect.

                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                Tracks had Kumamotos last Monday (when I had 6 Malpeques).

                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                  The Oyster Bar, Grand Central Station, esp. for the CT Hounds.

                                                                                                      2. My favorite are the "ichinen"(one year) oysters from Lake Saroma in the north of Hokkaido. They are very small and can only be harvested from November to mid-December (when the lake freezes). A small izakaya in my neighborhood in Tokyo used to carry them every year, but stopped several years back when a customer got ill from them, supposedly. I've never been able to find another supplier.

                                                                                                          1. re: tzurriz

                                                                                                            Man that's true for me too. Have almost never had a cooked oyster that I really enjoyed.

                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                              A NOLA oyster Po' Boy, is made w/ deep fried oysters and is a beauty unto itself.

                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                How about really good freid oysters, oysters Rockefeller, oysters bienville, oysters wrapped in bacon under the broiler, and a grilled oyster I've cloned from Benno's in Galveston.

                                                                                                                1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                  I'm open to temptation, gents, and may not have tried them in the right places - but the only cooked oyster dish I've had that I've loved was Keller's oysters and pearls.

                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                    I hope you get a chance to try a kaki furai (fried oysters in Japanese). Usually breaded with panko and deep-fried to perfection. The secret is really no secret. Start out with a really fresh oyster picked by a frying specialist and the rest takes care of itself. Just had one the other night at Kagura in Torrance, CA. The freshness of the sea, the supple rich creaminess of the tender oyster all enveloped in a beautifully fried panko crust left me amazed.

                                                                                                                  2. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                    Gulf Oysters served charbroiled at Drago's in New Orleans!

                                                                                                                    1. re: Cookie Baker

                                                                                                                      Which will apparently be only a memory for a while. So sad what is happening in the Gulf . . . and to our beleaguered fishermen.

                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                        Gulf oysters are actually a misnomer. They don't grow in the Gulf, but in the bays and brackish water, such as Galveston Bay, which took a major hit from Hurricane Ike in 2008. Most of the reefs were covered in silt from an 18 foot plus storm surge, but it is on the way to recovery. Neither Galveston Bay, which is one of the largest producers of oysters in the US, nor the other Texas bays that supply oysters are threatened. I do expect a price hike for oysters and shrimp however. Shrimp prices have been very low lately, so Texas shrimpers will reap benefits from the suffering of Eastern Gulf fisherman.

                                                                                                                        1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                          Considering the amount of oil flowing out of this well and the currents that will eventually take it out to the Atlantic, I'd think this will eventually affect vast areas of coastline and open ocean environments if not brought under control soon...

                                                                                                                          1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                            Yes, this is true, but it looks as though Texas and Mexico will be spared due to the currents. My comments pertain to nomadchowwommans remark that, as Cookie Baker was talking about oysters at Drago's, that the oysters will be a memory for awhile. Oysters and shrimp will still be available, but I'm certain at higher prices.

                                                                                                                            1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                              Thanks. After these posts relating to this issue, I started thinking about the currents through the Caribbean and how they influence the gulf, which then feeds the gulf stream. This then ultimately affects the entire Atlantic. Because of nature of these currents, the gulf areas relative to Mexico and Texas will probably be the last to be affected if everything literally comes full circle.

                                                                                                                                1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                  Probably should have said "Louisiana oysters," but the distinction in this thread seems to be between "Gulf oysters" and all the cold water varieties. A very significant amount of the nation's oysters come from Louisiana, and soon enough, I suspect, we'll see prices rise as availability decreases. But, yes, I'm sure die-hard oyster eaters will be able to get them, for a price, from, say, Texas or Mexico.My real concern is for the hardworking folks, barely recovered from Katrina, whose livelihoods are in jeopardy. I saw many of them at a big seafood market this morning, and they are very worried .

                                                                                                                  3. I recently at at a restaurant in Williamsburg, VA and had locally harvested Hog Island oysters. They served them with three sauces. A classic ketchup/horseradish cocktail sauce, a mignonette (sp?) sauce and a light soy-based japanese style sauce they called shoyu. Delicious!!

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: FarFar

                                                                                                                      Haven't yet met an oyster I didn't like for some reason or another.

                                                                                                                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                        The oysters on the half shell and all-you-can-eat buffets (I was dragged screaming and hollering.) must be frozen and thawed. They are the only oysters I haven't cared for, he says as he devoured 4 dozen.
                                                                                                                        I used to aggravate my poor mother when I insisted that I must have been switched at birth because my preferred foods are oysters and Champagne.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                          I ate some raw pastuerized oysters at Deanie's in Metairie, La, and they were disgusting. This was in March, prime Gulf coast oyster season, and no excuse for not serving oysters in their pristine state. While we were eating, a couple that just arrived from Nevada came in expressing their desire for raw oysters. I sent them away, advising them to dine elsewhere.

                                                                                                                    2. Westcott Bay. Mignonette or lemon, if anything.

                                                                                                                      1. Hard to say, because my favorite part of oysters on the half shell is the contrast of the mix: one sweet/creamy type, one salty/briny type, etc. (Despite my username, Tatamagouches aren't my favorite; just love the word.)

                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                          That is nice, when you can do it - it seems to me there's always one dog in the mix that I don't like though.

                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                            On the one hand, I agree that there's always one that's a little too much for me; on the other hand, I appreciate it as such—as integral to the experience of sampling oysters, and as something I might learn to like someday...In short, disliking one is all part of the fun! Is that weird?

                                                                                                                            1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                              Not in the least, I undestand you completely.

                                                                                                                        2. Island Creeks, Duxbury, MA; Cotuits, Cape Cod; Kushi, Pacific Northwest; Fanny Bay, ditto; Olympia, ditto ditto.

                                                                                                                          1. Gulf Oysters may soon be a mute point. Mobile oysters w/ Godscar.

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                A fairly good article on possible damage to wildlife from the oil, published yesterday:


                                                                                                                                As far as favorite oysters; Olympias, Malpeques, Kumamotos, (many I've forgotten), & we're really looking forward to trying some from the Maine coast early summer. Coldwater critters are more to our liking than Gulf oysters.


                                                                                                                              2. jfood.I know you live in CT. but from prior posts you stated you read the outdoor menu at a well known place in Boynton Beach Florida. I mentioned the price of the oysters there. I am sure you visited the place by your comment that you read the menu in front of the restaurant. My question is., Is $11.00 dollars to much for 6 oysters? Not pre-picked gulf. Just the usual oysters. Like I said , you commented earlier that you read the menu out front. So what is your opinion....I wish I could have met you there and discussed seafood in the area. HotMelly would have loved to talk to you. HotMelly loves food