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Kumamoto Oyster
Everyone's favorite oyster! Ethan and Tobias recommend this delicious variety to first time oyster eaters and seasoned lovers alike. Sweet, fruity, creamy, and rich, the Kumamotos take about a year and a half to reach this size. This oyster came from Oregon's Yaquina Bay in Newport.
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Hama Hama, or Boomstick
Hama Hama was one of the first oyster farms on the west coast to brand their oysters, producing delicious oysters in the Northern reaches of the Hood Canal in Washington's Olympic Peninsula. These beach-grown beauties are prized for their clean, melon-rind taste.
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The Chelsea Gem, or Pacific Oyster
The deeply-rounded shell of this oyster was created through a pioneering new method of oyster farming from Chelsea Farms in Olympia, Washington. The bag-and-buoy system works because the bags of oysters are tied to a post on one end and a buoy on the other, so when the tide rolls in the oysters are flipped upside down. This movement tumbles the oysters together which chips off shell, resulting in rapid regrowth of shell and deep cups. Why do you want a deep cup? More oyster liquor, the delicious, briny juice that accompanies the oyster's meat to your mouth.
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"Tillamook Sweets" from Hayes Oyster Co.
Jesse Hayes of the Hayes Oyster Company (Oregon's oldest) grows these fluted oysters in the Tillamook Bay. Hayes has been very involved with the Oregon Department of Agriculture, helping to develop regulations for oyster farming and improved methods of shipping and storing the gems for our oyster-bar enjoyment.
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Pied de Cheval, or European Oyster
The native oysters of France, these rare stunners are named after horseshoes for their large, round shape. The most prized of this species come from France's Belon River, and can grow to the size of dinner plates, though the largest of the species are generally used for stews or other cooked recipes.
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The Virginica, or Atlantic Oyster
These curved shells were grown in Sheepscot Bay, Maine, and are prized for their oceanic, salty flavor (not fishy--a fishy oyster is a sign of age, not freshness). Eastern oysters tend to be larger and flatter than their West Coast counterparts, with more of a teardrop shape.
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The Native, or Olympia Oyster
These little guys are the only species of oysters that are native to the west coast (much loved by Lewis and Clark), with a woody, earthy flavor and a coppery finish. Despite their small size, these oysters grow very slowly, taking 3 to 4 years to reach maturity (in contrast to the 1-1.5 years for other, often larger, species).
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