Naked Cowboy – Long Island, NY
Wild oysters from the North Shore of Long Island, Naked Coyboys are diver caught exclusively by Blue Island Shellfish Farms. Their brininess is described as “medium,” but they vary in salinity from season to season and even week to week. Naked Cowboys tend to be mild, with some iron “minerality” (a term often employed to describe flavors associated with minerals that oysters soak up over their lifetime of filter-feeding), and a metallic finish. They are available year-round, but are particularly good starting in October and through the colder months.
Saint Simon – New Brunswick, Canada
Cultivated in suspended trays, Saint Simon oysters have white, brittle shells. Their flesh is dark, with a firm texture and medium brine. The flavor profile also includes some nice minerality and a clean finish. This is a good beginner's oyster.
Peconic Bay – Long Island, NY
Peconic Bay in Long Island is a small, calm bay fed by the Atlantic. Oysters from the bay have weaker shells and can have overgrowth, making for elongated and very brittle white shells. These oysters are a salt shock and have a clean—almost sweet—finish that helps balance the initial brine.
Moon Shoal – Cape Cod Bay, MA
Hailing from the sandy shallows of Cape Cod Bay, these oysters are fed by the nutrient-rich waters of the Gulf of Maine. They are briny, though not as briny as the neighboring Wellfleet oysters, and have a sweet finish with tropical fruit notes.
Hama Hama – Hood Canal, WA
Wild oysters with hard, heavy, and gnarly shells, Hama Hamas are farmed-wild hybrids, meaning that once they’re seeded, they’re left untouched until harvest. They are substantially meaty due to life on the beach and are known for their cucumber notes and a light, clean finish.
Hog Island Sweetwater – Tomales Bay, CA
These slightly sweet oysters, with a pronounced grassy and lettuce finish, have a clean flavor. This is perhaps due to their cultivation method, which involves filtering the oysters after harvest with sterilized sea water. These oysters are West Coast favorites, where they are known as California’s most popular oyster.
Shibumi – Southern Puget Sound, WA
Shibumis are tumbled oysters, resulting in smooth shells with deep cups. They are small with a pink-hued shell length of 2 ½ inches. They are known for their pink-tinged flesh, sweetness, and notes of raw green bean and sunchoke.