Summer Sizzle 2021 Newsletter

Aug 03, 2021

An infrequent newsletter for oyster-loversBOOM!
Umm, remember when the world’s restaurants were shut tight and oyster growers had nowhere to sell their bivalves and it was a disaster and we were urging oysterheads to order direct from growers to help keep them afloat? Yeah, well, that was so 2020. Summer is here, the air is clear, and the oyster biz is searingly hot once again. The New York Times has officially declared the market “bonkers,” and we are getting lots of intel that supports that assessment. Great news! If you did your part by ordering lots of oysters through the lean times, reward yourself by ordering more. You made a difference. If you didn’t, make it up to the industry by ordering some right now! And thank you; we now have proof that the oysterheads of America have made the local oyster scene unstoppable.Grillers in the Mist
J. Kenji Lopez-Alt makes a strong case in the Times for grilling oysters in high summer, with a nice cameo from Hama Hama’s Justin Stang. It’s hard to argue: All the flavor, none of the vibrio. But the big mistake people make with their grilled oysters is to use oysters that are too small. All that shrinkage calls for your biggest bivalves. Those can be hard to find in these boutique days, but Stang’s Hama Hama can set you up.The Full New England
On the New England coast, summer festivities have always been built on oysters, crabs, and lobster (oh, my!). If that’s you (and no matter where you are), Real Oyster Cult has you covered with their combo package, topped off (literally) with some mini-mignonettes. Supplement with a dram of Talisker, with whom ROC has teamed up on a nice pairing project.Can They Hear You?
Newsflash! The Guardian has just discovered that oysters are alive, have a heart, and can hear the breaking waves. For this fast-developing story, click over to their site. Worth it for the Disney rendition of The Walrus and the Carpenter.Chris Warner on a boat in Maine's New Meadows RiverA Salty Kiss
Newsflash II: Island Creek just added Ocean Kiss oysters to its offerings this week. These are beautiful, deep-cupped oysters from Maine’s New Meadows River, raised by local legend Chris Warner, and they will sell out within days. Go.Re-enGAGE
Here’s a sure sign of renewal: The rise of glitzy New York oyster houses. Brooklyn’s Gage & Tollner is back and buffer than ever, all gold and gaslights and shrimp cocktail. It’s an oyster house and much more, it’s the kind of thing we haven’t seen in Brooklyn in a while, and it even won over Pete Wells. Anyone else been? If so, dish. And if you haven’t, perhaps it’s time to gather your carefully saved pandemic pennies (lots of them) and go party like it’s 1899.Clamitous Heat
The Pacific Northwest gave Death Valley a run for its money last week, and the results were, in the words of Hama Hama’s Adam James, “clamitous”: clams throwing themselves gasping from the 120-degree mud; mussels popping open up and down the flats like the world’s largest bouillabaisse. No word on the oysters yet. The Washington Post did a nice piece on the not-so-nice news, featuring Hama’s Lissa James, who urged followers to “vote for politicians who are brave enough to address climate change.”Summerstones Are In!
Fortunately, when the mercury starts to rise in Washington State, Hama Hama has an ace in the hole: it’s summer farm, located in the waters off Skunk Island (see map). That farm is located much closer to the Pacific Ocean, meaning the water stays cold and the oysters stay perky. This year, that move is looking especially brilliant. Besides the cool perkiness, the nice thing about Summerstones is the intense brine, a product of that ocean environment. It’s a salty twist on the classic Hama sweetness. If you agree, say so. And if fat and creamy is more your speed, they also have Eld Inlets from South Puget Sound (see map again).Summer Blues Are In, Too
Addendum to the above: Here’s an exclusive first look at Summer Blues, the tumbled companion to Summerstones that just hit the market for the first time. (In other words, a Summer Blue is to a Summerstone as a Blue Pool is to a Hama Hama.) Be the first to rate them (you have to have actually tasted them) and win…lifelong bragging rights.truss bridge spanning Toyko Bay with kayaker and red buoysBeware Rogue Oysters
The summer Olympics have an unusual problem: Too many oysters! Floating equipment installed on Tokyo Bay to baffle the waves, so the waves wouldn’t baffle the competitors in the rowing sports, began to mysteriously sink last year. The culprit: 31,000 pounds of “rogue” Pacific oysters who had made their home on it. The Post has the story, with nice quotes from oyster maven Julie Qiu. Two takeaways: What a great sign that Tokyo Bay is still brimming with native Pacific oysters; and can’t this problem easily be solved by making oyster eating an Olympic event?Rate That Oyster!
Every now and then we like to call attention to one of the world’s most amazing oysters that hasn’t had its fair share of reviews on Oysterater. This time, that oyster is North Havens, raised by Adam Campbell on, yes, North Haven Island, in Maine’s Penobscot Bay. It’s an amazing spot, a natural salt pond that fills and empties with the tides twice daily, giving the oysters their very own well-protected jacuzzi. Island Creek Oysters sometimes carries this oyster, and has some great details about the spot. You can also find them in Maine shops like Harbor Seafood. But wherever you find them, when you eat them, RATE THEM. We’re only as good as you make us.Wishing you fresh oysters with friends,
The OysteRater crewGet Fresh Shipped OystersForward by EmailCopyright © 2021 Oysterater, All rights reserved.


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