See you in shell

illustration by mark stivers

My life seems to be about oysters recently. If my friends aren’t foraging them, then I’m buying them at the farmers market or ordering them in any number of restaurants.

The ones to generally look for (and that are the easiest to find) are the petite Kumamoto oyster, the feather-fan-shelled Pacific oyster, and the jagged Atlantic oyster. These are the most common oysters and often the most desired for their briny flavor and exceptionally sweet meat.

If you decide to serve them yourself, the best place to go is to the Point Reyes Oyster Company stall at the Sunday Central Farmers Market under the freeway. They’ll not only instruct you on how to open and serve them, but also give various options on how to properly cook them as well, should that be your intent.

Many people serve them with hot sauce, lemon and a simple mignonette sauce (a condiment of vinegar, black pepper and chopped shallots that can easily be prepared at home). However, I find that shooting one straight and following it with a sip of sparkling wine is the best way to appreciate an oyster’s nuanced flavors.