Malpeques have taken the world by storm in the past twenty years. Fresh, and harvested in P.E.I. They are easy to eat, with the perfect balance of sweetness, brine, and pickle-like liveliness. With a medium texture, they make great accompaniments to a pint of lager.
KUSSHI (WEST COAST)
A Kusshi, Japanese for “precious,” is almost as deep as it is long—just over two inches. The unusual cornucopia shape and stunning smooth purple-black shell are due to the tumbling, which smoothes off any frills. With a medium texture and a mild flavour. Freshly harvested in Vancouver Island.
The Shigoku oyster is a fairly new variety that comes from the Pacific. Shigoku, which means “ultimate” in Japanese, are a medium texture and mild taste. These oyster range from 2 to 3 inches.
FRENCH KISS (NEW BRUNSWICK)
French Kiss Oysters are Eastern Oysters that are from the clean North Atlantic waters of the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick, Canada. French Kiss have a similar flavor profile to Beau Soleils. But as they grow out for a couple years longer, the French Kiss are larger than Beau Soleils. Raised in floating bags, a process known as suspension culture, these Oysters move with the waves and tides of the bay. This movement causes the Oysters to rub against each other, providing a manicuring process that leaves them consistently sized, shaped and cleaned. To develop strong adductor muscles, the French Kiss are periodically exposed to the air and the rays of the sun.
TIPS WHEN BUYING OYSTERS
Only buy oysters that have closed shells, because oysters with open shells are dead.
HOW TO SERVE RAW OYSTERS
Place the oysters on the half-shell on crushed ice on a rimmed platter and garnish them with seaweed and lemons. Seafood sauce and horseradish are also a popular garnish.
EASY WAY TO COOK OYSTERS AT HOME
Broiling oysters is easy and fun. They can be opened one hour in advance, and then right before serving, broil them on the half-shell with any flavored butter or topped with a spicy salsa. You can also cook closed oysters on a charcoal or gas grill just until they pop open, and eat them with a little melted butter on the side.