Notebook

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

Who Has Had Croatian Oysters?

January 2nd, 2019

 

Fascinating article in the New York Times this week on Croatian oysters, which apparently have been raised in the area since Roman times? Who knew? What’s most remarkable is that they seem to all be wild European Flats, which are hard to find in Europe these days (and especially in the Mediterranean!), wild-harvested as spat and then farmed to market size. (You can see the floats in the photo above.) Can this be true? A Euro Flat paradise in the Adriatic Sea? Would love you to weigh in if you’ve had them, or know more details. Apparently Mali Ston is the spot:

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Oyster Gift Ideas 2018

December 5th, 2018

Got Green-Gills?
Welcome to winter. Have you had your Green Gills yet? In the Marenne-Oleron region of France, oyster’s gills turn green in winter when they feed on a particular type of phytoplankton. That plankton also grows naturally on the East Coast of the U.S. It makes the oysters crazy delicious. And it’s starting to happen right now. Learn all about green gills on Oysterguide and in The Essential Oyster. Think of them as a multivitamin to keep you going through the dark months.

 

World’s Brightest Oysters
You may have heard that oysters (being brainless, after all) can be a little dim, but not these oysters! The team at Real Oyster Cult upcycles their old shells (yes, washed) and turns them into a holiday showstopper with copper wiring and LEDs. Delivery takes two weeks, so if you want them for Christmas, get on it right now.

 

An Umami Double Shot
Island Creek just announced it will be shipping its wildly popular Block Party package right through New Year’s Eve: 100 oysters plus 250g of caviar. If you’re an umami hound, and you can’t get enough caviar and oysters together, this one’s for you, as the price is less than half what you’d normally pay. If you’re not, well, they’ll ship it to anyone else you like, too.

 

New Online Oyster Marketplace
OysteRater now has far more oysters available for direct shipment than ever before, thanks to the additions of The Oyster Common, a new service that helps small farms handle online orders, Fedex shipments, and other backend challenges. They’ve already signed up Glidden Point, Johns River, Eros, and Peconic Gold, with more to come. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: There’s never been a better time to be an oyster eater in America!

 

Books for the Bookish
The already brimming cup of oyster literature now overfloweth with two new additions: The Oyster Companion, by Canadian oyster legend Patrick McMurray, and A High Low Tide: The Revival of a Southern Oyster, by Andre Gallant.

 

 

 

 

Oystergram
Here’s a brilliant idea from Hama Hama. Send someone special an Oystergram and they’ll receive a handsome package with a shucking knife, a shell magnet, a desk calendar with sizzling Hama shots, a pin, a sticker, and a voucher for four-dozen oysters to be shipped at the recipient’s convenience. That old oysters-rotting-under-the-Christmas-tree problem, solved at last!

 

Billion Oyster Progress
A century ago, New York Harbor was lifeless, thanks to decades of chemicals and sewage. That was in stark contrast to the New York of the 1600s, which contained 220,000 acres of oyster reefs. Now NYC is again headed in the right direction, thanks to the astounding work of the Billion Oyster Project, which has deputized local schools, restaurants, and organizations in the push to restore both water quality and living reefs. Considering giving to the Billion Oyster Project this season. We do.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Oyster Ideas for Thanksgiving

November 20th, 2018

Old Man Winter grabbed the East Coast early this year and squeezed hard, and doesn’t seem to be letting go. This is great news for (A) The skiing industry; (B) The oil industry; (C) The oyster industry; (D) All of the above. Correct answer is D. When the waters turn cold, oysters start fattening themselves with rich, sweet, savory compounds to survive the lean months. They are at their peak of flavor between now and New Year’s. As I’ve pointed out before, the French eat almost all their oysters in December, and they’ve been eating oysters much, much longer than you have. Don’t question their cultural kudos. Just do it. 

 

Oyster Rolls for Thanksgiving
Adrienne Anderson (oyster stylist extraordinaire) did a stint developing recipes for Hama Hama Oyster Company last year, and it stands as one of the pinnacles of oyster cuisine. The Oyster Rolls (think lobster rolls with bivalves) are how I like to get Thanksgiving Day rolling (especially good with the early football game). They require a supply of top-notch shucked oysters, of which Hama Hamas are the cream of the crop.

 

Knives for Thanksgiving
…or for a nifty stocking stuffer for the oyster fanatic in your life: Oyster knives made with recycled plastic collected from the beaches of Haiti. This joint venture between Island Creek Oyster Foundation, which has been working in Haiti for years, and R Murphy Knives (which was recently acquired by Dexter-Russell, which will continue the brand) pays locals in Haiti to collect plastic off their beaches, pelletizes that plastic, and turns it into oyster-knife handles. Lemons into lemonade!

 

More Fun Stuff
Need more ideas? Oyster goddess Julie Qiu salts up the holidays with her Oyster Gift Giving Guide.

 

 

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

The Royal Oysterbaums

September 5th, 2018

Every Wes Anderson fan (and oyster fan) needs to see The Royal Oysterbaums, Island Creek’s tribute to…um, lots of things. Said fans can also get the Royal treatment by joining the Oyster of the Month Club. Can the Life Aquatic Sampler be far behind???

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Ultimate Oyster Shucking Apron

August 16th, 2018

Genius. You know you want this. You might even need it.

Island Creek Oysters X Tilit Shucking Apron

Heidi Geldhauser courtesy Tilit

Island Creek and Tilit teamed up to create the apron every oyster shucker needs.

ALISON SPIEGEL

August 13, 2018

So you’ve done your homework and studied up on all the oyster varieties you need to know about, from Bluepoint to KumamotoYou’ve successfully mastered the art of shucking oysters at home—or finding the best spots for dollar oyster deals—and the art of pairing said oysters with the right wine. What you need now is not an oyster knife—because clearly you already have one—but this new oyster shucker’s apron, made by experts, for experts (like you!).

Chef and Rhode Island native Sean Telo, most recently of 21 Greenpoint in Brooklyn, just teamed up with apparel company Tilit, which makes custom aprons and uniforms for chefs and restaurant workers.

Oyster shuckers

Melissa-DiPalma

The result is an apron that’s perfectly (ahem) suited, down to the tiniest detail, for the art of oyster shucking. The material is a waxed cotton that repels water to keep you dry, and the green color is supposed to match the waders that oyster farmers wear out on the water.

“We obviously wanted to give a nod to the folks that really make this all happen—the farmers,” Telo says.

There’s also a large pocket for stashing a towel or gloves.

“My favorite part,” the chef continues, “is a pocket lined with kevlar or ‘super fabric’ to avoid the awkwardness of an oyster knife shooting out the bottom and sticking in your shoe.” (We’ll shuck to that!)

Island Creek Oysters X Tilit Shucking Apron

Melissa DiPalma courtesy Tilit

It was chef Steven Satterfield of Atlanta’s Miller Union who connected Telo with Tilit. Satterfield had previously collaborated with the apparel company on a bib apron and “couldn’t stop raving about them,” Telo says. So the chef, who now works with Island Creek, brought them his idea.

“I’ve never seen an oyster shucking apron before, at least not one that was designed to look and feel comfortable while also being functional. So many aprons out there aren’t geared towards the riggers of shucking a thousand oysters a night, until now,” he says. “I’m really happy with how it turned out.”

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

» Notebook Archives »

Recent Posts

Categories