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SponsoredApril 25, 2016

Oh, Capital! Afternoon Oyster Tasting at Virgola East Village

My favorite part about oyster eating is not exactly knowing what to expect. But for some people, that’s pretty terrifying. Well, fear not my friends! I have found a fantastic new perfect starter oyster and a new oyster bar in NYC to enjoy them.

Capital at Virgola by Julie Qiu IMG_7638

Say hello to Capital Oyster, a beautiful tide-tumbled Pacific oyster from Spencer Cove, Washington. Don’t let the hip, new name and slick website fool you. This oyster has roots in one of the oldest oyster farming communities in the country, and this joint venture between a 5th-generation oyster farmer and two of the largest shellfish companies in Washington State is like creating the perfect storm. I have a feeling that the Capital Oyster is going to quickly become a fan favorite. But enough about business, let’s have some fun!

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Oyster ToursApril 13, 2016

Bluepoint Oysters: Then and Now

The Blue Point Oyster, or Bluepoint for short, is an iconic American oyster. Trying your first Bluepoint is like trying on your first pair of jeans. It’s classic, timeless, and (for better or worse) commonplace. Bluepoints weren’t that special to me, and for a long time, I have written and talked about them as such. It wasn’t until fairly recently — from a very cool field trip last July and a serendipitous meeting yesterday — that I started to look at the humble Bluepoint a little bit differently.
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Bluepoints? Mmmeh.

For a long time, when people asked for my opinion about the Bluepoint, I’d offer a tepid response. I conscientiously acknowledged its widespread popularity, prevalence, and affordable price (btw: if you’re buying Bluepoints in NYC at the raw bar for more than $2.75 a piece, you’re overpaying). But today, “Bluepoints” have become a generic name used to sell any Virginica oyster from the Long Island Sound in the New York and Connecticut harvest regions, or from as far away as New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia (nonsensical, but true). As a result, there is a great deal of variability in the quality and taste. The “genuine Blue Point Oyster” was all but lost in time.. or at least, that’s what I had read and been told in my early oyster exploration days.

“You will see Bluepoints on every oyster menu in Manhattan, and quite a few elsewhere, because many people believe they want Bluepoints and nothing but. The oysters themselves are seeded on the bottom of Long Island Sound, both the Oyster Bay area of Long Island and the Norwalk area of Connecticut, dredged up a few years later, and have an extremely mild taste. You can do better.” — Rowan Jacobsen, A Geography of Oysters

I guess my lack of enthusiasm for Bluepoints stemmed from the perception that they’re literally everywhere, and yet, from nowhere at the same time. Let’s be real here. It’s not that fun to eat naked, anonymous oysters. I’m very glad to say that there is more to the story of the Bluepoint than what is commonly told… because while there may not be a specific “somewhere,” there is a someone.

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Oyster ToursApril 8, 2016

Sweet Home, Alabama Oyster

Over the last year, there’s been a lot of buzz around the rise of the Alabama oyster industry. It’s become the darling of the food media world, and for good reasons too. Last summer, I had the opportunity to witness first hand some of the exciting things that have been happening down south. Here’s a recount of some of my discoveries…

IAHS 2015-07-10 Gulf Oyster Tour IMG_4341

Meeting the #OysterPowerCouple

After completing a solo* two-hour drive from New Orleans to somewhere just south of Mobile, I dropped off my rental keys and greeted Beth Walton in the parking lot. She was all smiles and positive energy, which accurately mirrored her bubbly social media personality. We hopped into Beth’s car and proceeded towards Dauphin Island, chatting about oysters and Instagram along the way. Before this point, we had never met in person. I only knew Beth (aka @GulfSeafoodGirl) and her partner in crime Bill Walton (aka @Doctor_Oyster) as the #OysterPowerCouple on Twitter. As soon as I learned that I would be visiting New Orleans to speak at the inaugural Sustainable Seafood Blog Conference, we started to plan our meetup.

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Oyster Recipes, Oyster PairingsFebruary 13, 2016

Romantic Gestures That Make Oysters Less Cliche for Valentine’s Day

I’m a romantic at heart, so I love to suggest oysters for Valentine’s Day… even if it is the most cheesy, cliche thing imaginable. Whenever anyone mentions the words, “oysters” and “aphrodisiac,” or even hints at the oyster’s amorous reputation, I can’t help but do a mental eye roll. It’s just kind of too obvious! Even still, I believe that oysters can be a wonderful, tasteful choice… if done the right way. Here are a few ideas…
Photography & food styling by Jenny Huang
Calligraphy by Chavelli Tsui

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Playing Dress Up

I’ve had a complicated relationship with garnishes. I’ve made rules for myself, only to break them. I would still consider myself as a purist, but sometimes, a punchy mignonette just really hits the spot.

There are many variations on classic accoutrements that can be explored. Instead of horseradish, try ginger. Instead of vinegar, try vodka. Instead of lemon, try yuzu. Instead of black pepper, try yellow curry. Instead of cocktail sauce, try pickle juice. Try out some unexpected ingredients… pomegranate, sake, bourbon, and chili powder.

I am definitely going to try out this Buddha’s Hand Citron Mignonette and Citron Ginger Mule pairing by my friend Jenny.

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Oyster ToolsDecember 4, 2015

2015 Holiday Wishlist Featuring 40 Oyster Gifts for Every Oyster Lover

IAHS Holiday Gifts-06

Holy Kumamoto! How is it December already?? I know that I have been falling behind on my oyster blogging, but to make it up to you all, I’m pumped to present this fantastic 2015 Holiday Oyster Gift Guide! Never disappoint the oyster lovers in your life ever again.

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