SEATTLE — Oysters are BIG in Washington. There's no lack of places to find raw oysters in Seattle and beyond. But are Washingtonians just born loving oysters? Did they come out of the womb like that? Because for some people, Washingtonian or not, they may seem a little...
Ah, but that's not a good word to use. Tom Stocks, Taylor Shellfish Farms restaurant director, admits that they're slippery. And cold. And crisp. But that's part of the charm- eating oysters is a totally unique experience.
Firstly, Tom suggests enjoying oysters sans any kind of topping. Tabasco sauce, lemon, and horseradish are all popular toppings -- but Tom says if you really want to enjoy oysters for what they are, try them plain.
The other addition, Tom says, is a good, crisp white wine. Red wine is a big no-no because the wine's tannin makes the oysters seem bitter. Instead, go for an oyster wine (yes, that's a real term) a cold, crisp, dry white wine that's perfect for pairing with oysters.
There are many types of oysters, each with its own distinct location, flavor, and shape. For instance, Virginia oysters are usually found on the East Coast, but Taylor Shellfish grows a special type of Virginica in Totten Inlet. Kumamoto Oysters are grown primarily on the West Coast and have a sweet, briny flavor.
Now, let's get to the elephant in the room. Yes, raw oysters are alive when you eat them. However, as Tom told me, they have to be because eating a dead oyster is potentially hazardous to one's health. Whether or not that stops you from eating oysters is up to you.
If you do choose to indulge, Tom says to always make sure your oysters are served on ice. If they're served on rocks or salt, send 'em back! A cold oyster is a good oyster.
And, of course, the final recommendation is this: if you're nervous about trying oysters, go with a friend. It always makes the experience way more fun. And going with a super knowledgeable friend doesn't hurt, either!
Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar | 206-501-4060 | 410 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA