Notebook

Check back here for new oyster tastings and reviews of oyster bars and festivals.

Hama Hama Oyster Rama May 7

May 1st, 2016

One of the most madcap events of the oyster year goes down on May 7 when the Hama Hama Oyster Rama takes place on the beautiful banks of Hood Canal in Washington State. The Rama involves lots of food and music; U-pick clams and oysters; something called the Shuckathlon that involves sprinting, clam digging, shucking, and who knows what else; an insanely luxurious oyster & wine tasting with celebrity chef Renee Erickson and me, tours of the tide flats with local ecologists, and a few surprises. Plus the weather on the Olympic Peninsula is looking spectacular for the weekend. Not to be missed.

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Surf Shucking

April 27th, 2016

Call Nichols throws down the gauntlet with some amazingly dexterous shucking. Who can top this?

 

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A Clean, Well-Lighted Oyster Bar

April 22nd, 2016

Love Hemingway? Hate Hemingway? Both? This one’s for you…

Clean Oyster Bar

 

We were shucking oysters at the picnic tables at Hog Island Oyster Farm on Tomales Bay. The sun was low across the water, and a web of light danced on our glasses.

“Is it like this in New York?” she asked.

“No,” I said. “You don’t do this in New York.” I handed her a Hog Island Sweetwater, and she tilted it into her mouth, then drank her wine. It was a rosé from a man in Sebastopol, in Sonoma County, and it was cold and sharp and tasted faintly of strawberries.

Read more at Lucky Peach.

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Shigokus Branching Out

April 17th, 2016

Taylor Shellfish is now offering its wildly popular Shigoku oysters in three sizes: Shigokus, the little tumbled 2” cocktail oysters we know and love; Fat Bastards, the same oyster grown to a robust 3”, and Grand Crus, 4” powerhouses. I bet bet you can tell which is which in this photo. As supplies fill in, all three will be available coast to coast, but for now your best bet is Taylor’s oyster bars in Seattle. (Or Hong Kong, where most of the Grand Crus end up.) Here’s a visual size comparison:

Taylor tumbleds

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Stalking the Green-Gilled Oyster

February 17th, 2016

Green-gilled oysters have been celebrated in Europe for their unique, truffle-like flavor since at least the 17th century, and they are still farmed and highly prized in France, where they’re called fine de claire verte. What most people don’t know is that they occur naturally throughout the Southeast, and that they are incredibly delicious. I had no idea until I met a guy named Clammerhead, who’s been enjoying them for years. If he realizes his dream, you may soon be, too.  Tasting Table has the whole story here. In the meantime, bottoms up….

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