Notebook

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

Real Oyster Cult 20% Off!

March 21st, 2019

Breaking News: Real Oyster Cult and Oysterguide are offering a 20% discount thru the end of March on all oyster orders. Why? Because the oysters are spectacular right now. Amazing selection, amazing quality. Plus, it’s March, and everyone needs an excuse to have fun. Right now ROC has Kumamotos, Belons, Raspberry Points, and several other museum-quality oysters, so click on over and enter “Oysterater” into the discount box. Did we mention the mussels and clams, too???

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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:

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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???

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