May 25, 2013
Last weekend I caught the superb inaugural Oyster Riot at Saltwater Oyster Depot in Inverness, California (on Tomales Bay) and had the pleasure of introducing myself to a new oyster as well. The Saltwater team was shucking Tomasini Shoals, which are raised by Chris Starbird, the guy with the solar-powered flupsy near the Marshall Store. Chris mostly sells seed, but he raises just enough oysters to market size to keep Saltwater Oyster Depot supplied, and that’s a good thing, because Tomasini Shoals are significantly different than the other oysters coming out of Tomales Bay. Instead of growing them on the surface, Chris drops them a good eight feet into the rich waters of Tomales Bay. The combination of his location adn technique results in a more balanced oyster than the usual brine powerhouses coming out of the bay. Chris’s are creamy and gently briny, with an amazing sweet-corn finish. They also look very different–white shells detailed in pink and purple. Well worth seeking out, though this probably means (good news and bad) a trip to Tomales Bay.
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