Oyster Profiling

Jax Fish House Executive Chef Sheila Lucero and Executive Director Adam Reed educate us on the many varieties of oysters.

If you’re a coastal transplant loving the Rocky Mountains but missing some fresh seafood, we have some good news for you. Although this may sound counterintuitive, osyters are best when they are shipped directly from the growers through overnight or second day delivery. That’s actually the ideal way to get super-fresh, high-quality oysters, which makes these molluscs one of the tasiest ways to fill up on your omega-3 needs. This is just one out of many fun facts we learned about while putting together this oyster profiling with the Jax Fish House team. There are only five species of oysters but tons of varieties (Rocky Mountain oysters absolutely not included), and the pros at Jax filled us in on some flavor and pairing tips. You’ll never have to say, “Awe, shucks, I don’t know” when it comes to ordering this delicious delicacy again.

Pemaquid Oysters, CRASSOSTREA VIRGINICA

Damariscotta River, ME

“Grown in the cold cold mud where the Damariscotta River meets the Atlantic Ocean. High Salinity, mild sweetness, grassy-lemon finish.”—SL

Pair with:

“Muscadet Serve et Maine is the quintessential pairing for oysters. Mineral, chalk, and saline qualities are characteristic for this wine that also can have notes of unripe apricot and lemon cream.  The delicate nature of Muscadet allows the Pemaquid to shine.”—AR

Kumamoto Oysters, CRASSOSTREA SIKAMEA

Pudget Sound, WA

“A fan favorite! Slow growers and petite in size, these are plump and creamy with big cucumber and melon notes. They are great with cucumber granite or fresh diced cucumber, shallot and melon.”—SL

Pair with:

“Kumos are the Cadillac of oysters.  They are a foundation for one of my favorite Mignonettes…rice vinegar, shallots, roasted habanero and a sprig of cilantro.  Amazing.”—AR

Emersum Oysters, CRASSOSTREA VIRGINICA

Rappahannock River, VA

“An oyster grown specifically for Jax Fish House by Rappahannock River Oysters, Emersum’s are grown at 37° 36′ 28 N Latitude and 76° 27′ 48 W Longitude. They are medium sized with a mild flavor, balanced salinity and sweetness. Great oysters for beginners.”—SL

Pair with:

“Pieropan Soave.  A reputable producer of Soave will highlight the richness and roundness of the Garganega grape.  The balance of the Emersum deserves balance in a wine and Soave has a silken quality and bright acidity that compliments and contrasts perfectly with the sweet/salty of the Emersum.”—AR

Olympia Oyster, OSTREA LURIDA

Pudget Sound, WA

“On the brink of extinction during the California Gold Rush, these guys almost disappeared entirely. Luckily, sustainability has saved the Olympia. A very small oyster (about half the size of a kumamoto, and they grow twice as slow) they pack a big, bold flavor that is worth the wait! Copper, tin and smoke undercurrents characterize these all-time greats.” —SL

Pair with:

“Amontillado sherry.  A stellar pairing.  A marzipan finish and delicate texture of the sherry allow this very special oyster to see it’s full flavor potential.”—AR

Sol Azul Oysters, CRASSOSTREA GIGAS

Baja- Sea of Cortez, MX (mexico)

“Fairly new to the market, these have great gigas characteristics, meaning they are fast growing, consistent, plump and deep-cupped. Incredible creaminess. They are wonderful raw, but also makes for a great grilled oyster.” —SL

Pair with:

“Achtertuin Seizoen from The Post Brewing Company.  Dry, tart, and refreshing, this Saison is brewed with French ale yeast whose sour and spicy elements create incredible contrast with the rich creaminess of the Sol Azul.”—AR