Like beer, raw oysters are an acquired taste. Initially when you’re handed a raw oyster, you cringe and cower down. Yet, there are those individuals who absolutely love raw clams and oysters on the half shell.
Recently I have been seeing the ins and outs of what goes into a functioning raw bar at a restaurant in Nantucket, MA. The raw bar serves between 7-12 types of oysters that hail from spots in the Northeast, Virginia, and Washington State.
Depending on the waters harvested in, the oysters each have a unique taste. For example, local Nantucket or ACK oysters are incredibly briny (salty) at first, but end with a touch of sweetness. The Northern Cross oysters from Virginia aren’t as salty and they finish with a surprisingly crisp and refreshing aftertaste.
It’s remarkable how each oyster, disregarding their separate exteriors, size, and shape, boast a unique flavor.
Before working at this raw bar my experience in oyster eating and shucking was limited to the days spent in Spadafora’s Seafood Market/Restaurant. One type of oyster was served and I rarely got close enough to think about eating it. Now, between endless bouts of shucking I try an oyster that arrives with a new shellfish tag.
If you’re allergic to shellfish or simply can’t move past the idea of slurping down raw seafood then forget about raw oysters. But if you’re up for the challenge, you should definitely visit an oyster bar and at least taste what the world of oysters offers.
Are you a fan of raw oysters?