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Aug 29, 2007 03:48 PM

Decent Oysters (to take home) in DC?

Folks, I am a new poster, but a long, long time lurker on what used to be Jim Leff's stomping ground.

I am saddened that the oysters (bay) that I have gotten from Whole Foods on P street have been quite bad. I mean... rotten bad. Mussels, too.

The only good takeaway oysters I've had in this city that were EXCELLENT were the half bushel of CHincoteagues that I purchased from the Maine Ave. Fish Market. They were absolutely, screamingly tremendous. I call ever weekend and none of the vendors ever have Chincoteagues in stock. Only nasty Southern oysters that I wouldn't feed to my puppy.

I thought black salt's oysters were good, but not truly sparkling. Might be time of year.

Any rec for places for great (great!) take-home oysters in the greater D.C. area???

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  1. In Maryland, at least, the warm summer months (the months that don't have R in their names) are considered quite inferior for oysters. In the old days, we couldn't even get oysters in the summer, although with modern transportation, they seem to available all the time

    1. MD Department of Natural Resources website says that tonging doesn't begin until October 2, 2007 and skipjacks can't take oysters until November 1. So you'll have to wait for those Chincoteagues.
      Oysters are not very good this time of year because they spawn during these months that just happen to have Rs in their names. When the oysters spawn, the meat gets watery and flaccid. It has nothing at all to do with refrigeration. The only oysters that are any good raw this time of year are farmed triploid oysters which are sterile and don't spawn. Eat clams until October.

      You'll have to wait for your terrific local Chincoteagues but it should be worthwhile. The drought this summer has raised saline levels in the Bay so they should be especially flavorful. Harvests have been low recently but everyone is looking forward to some really tasty Chincoteagues this year.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MakingSense

        Much appreciated. I have not noticed as steep a decline in northern, coldwater oysters during summer months.

        Thanks again for the info about the Chincoteagues.