Winter 2020 Newsletter

An infrequent newsletter for oyster-lovers

The French Connection

Happy December. It’s that magical time of year when all the best things come round: darkness, cold, flight delays, miracle births, gifts, saunas, oysters. From coast to coast, oysters are at their finest. And that includes the Atlantic coast of France, of course, home to some of the greatest oysters of all. Sore spot: While OysteRater is the ultimate repository for information and ratings on 300+ North American oysters, we have darned few ratings for French oysters. Come on, we know some of you are huitres veterans; let’s get some chatter to flesh out those pages. Maybe you’ve had Gillardeau, the so-called Rolls Royce of oysters? Maybe Utah Beach, Le Hipster choice. Fin de Claire? Belon? Maybe you’ve had another French oyster we haven’t loaded yet? If so, tell us about it here and we’ll fire up a page just for you.

Crassostrea VirGINica, Indeed

If you do happen to be in Europe, and London is on your itinerary, stop by Wright Brothers for what seems like an obvious and essential move in hindsight: Half-Shell Gin, made by infusing oyster shell in gin. The result is an extra-mineral gin, which is not surprisingly exactly what you need for a martini. If you’re not in London, you may have to mineralize your own, which sounds like the perfect excuse to order some oysters.

Tin Soldiers

Leave it to Island Creek to pioneer a pairing we’ve been celebrating for years: Oysters and tinfish. Oysters are the original tinfish anyway, but the ones with the aluminum shells are much easier to open. All share the same umami glory. All get even better with a little rye bread and butter. But we’re not talking supermarket sardines, here; the good stuff is on a whole different level. Island Creek has ferreted out some awesome razor clams and smoked mussels. For even more stocking-stuffer awesomeness, check out tinfish queen Haley Fortier’s offerings at haley.henry.

Where You Gonna Sheath That Thing?

Sure, sure, you and everyone you know already have more oyster knives than you know what to do with. But how many oyster knives have you lost because you set one down amidst the shucking craziness? Us: dozens. Problem solved by this Hama Hama Oyster Knife holster. Nice quality leather, made right in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. More important, it screams western outlaw oysterperson. (Tip: The knife takes 3-4 days to ship, unless you order a box of overnight-delivery oysters with it. Just saying.)

Rowan & Carter

ROCs in Our Stocking

Thank you to Real Oyster Cult for the gift of ROC Reserves for the OysteRater Holiday party. We shucked & jived late into the evening, and many campers were made very happy. In addition to their generous oyster gift packages, ROC keeps on giving with bundles like Silver Bells, with a portion of the proceeds going to Toys for Tots. It’s the coldest warm fuzzy, and highly appropriate for the season. Peace on Earth, goodwill to Bivalves everywhere.

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