Summer Oysters

Jul 08, 2011

Summertime: The livin’ is easy, but the oysters are queasy. Or can be, anyway. This year I’ve had my share of spawny summer oysters, heavy on the gonad, but I’ve also discovered a few in the past weeks that were in mid-winter form: crisp and firm and saline. The Kumamotos and Quonset Points have been excellent. Best of all: Carr’s (Malpeques, more or less, grown with loving care by the same family that operates the fetching Carr’s Oyster Bar in PEI) at Montreal’s Joe Beef, which seems to have perfect oysters no matter the season. How do they do that? I don’t know. But here’s a tip: When your oysters are looking a little lame, don’t throw ’em out, throw ’em on the grill. There’s a time for beer and cocktail sauce (just make it with ajvar instead of ketchup. Recipe: 1 cup ajvar, 1/4 cup horseradish, a few drops smoked chili oil). Happy summer!

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4 Responses to Summer Oysters

  1. Joyce says:

    Hood Canal Oysters Question?

    When are they in their prime?

  2. rowan says:

    November is generally the peak.

  3. Jessica says:

    Hi Rowan,
    Your blog has been a great resource for me in my appreciation for oysters. I’m planning a trip to Cape Cod for mid-August and wonder if I can revel in briny bivalves while there, or will I be spawned-out?


  4. rowan says:

    Thanks, Jessica. Mid-August is about the nadir of the New England oyster season, but they can still be good. Many will have already completed spawning and might be thin and salty, but some feel that they have the most savory flavor at this time. Check ’em out and see what you think.

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