Graham Elliot Bistro
841 W. Randolph
The wines mentioned today:
The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc
The Crossing Pinot Noir
Joseph Carr Chardonnay
Selecting oysters for your guests is based entirely on flavor preference. If your guest loves very briny, lip-puckering salinity, then undoubtedly you would order a open water east coast oysters. If they are more interested in sweet and herbaceous oysters then oysters from the Pacific Northwest are your best option.
It is important to always purchase your oysters from a reputable purveyor/vendor and to keep in mind what time of year it is. It is typically a rule of thumb that oysters from the northwest tend get milky during any month without an R in it (May, June, July, August).
Once plucked from the water, West coast oysters will continue to open twice daily regardless if they are underwater or not. This will greatly reduce the longevity of the oysters when shipping and dry them out. East coast oysters on the other hand stay closed, and tend to have a longer shelf life.
Oysters gather all their flavor from the terroir and water they are harvested from. You will find all kinds of interesting nuances of flavor ranging from smoky, metallic, citrusy, salty, fruity and sweet.
Oysters can sometime harbor unsighlty critters like tiny crabs, worms or parasites. It is important to clean them thoroughly before shucking.
While all the oysters we consume are farm raised there are a few that raised naturally on the beach like Hama Hama that can be harvested at 7 years or more.
You can count the rings on the shell of an oyster just you would the rings of a tree to see how old it is. Each ring equals one season.