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Oyster Varieties

Acme Oyster House by Amy Dixon

Acme Oyster House by Amy Dixon

Half Shell Oyster Varieties

In North America there are at least 150 varieties of fresh oysters available for chefs to choose from for their menus. Yet all of these choices come from only 5 types of oysters: Kumamoto, Pacific oyster, Atlantic (Eastern) oyster, Olympia, and European Flats are the 5 species of oyster available in North America. It is from these 5 species that all the varieties spawn from.

Oyster flavor profiles have advanced to the point of being akin to wine tasting. Connoisseurs discuss the salinity & complexity of the oyster, the finish, the hints of melon or cucumber. Other common tastes found in oysters include seaweed, mineral, iron, copper, sweet, vegetal, lettuce, umami and mushroom. It can be rather daunting to remember it all. Below you will find our index to over 70 West Coast oyster varieties and 60 East Coast oyster varieties, as well as maps to oyster appellations. Each oyster profile includes flavor characteristics, oyster descriptions and seasonal availability.

Check-out the link for information on oyster cultivation methods and their effects upon oyster flavor profiles. Or see oyster farming for more detailed information about oyster aquaculture. Also, see shellfish storage for the best way to hold your shellfish. And our link to oyster shucking styles has descriptions and video of how to shuck oysters. 

Oysters Index by Region

 

Current Fresh Oyster Availability

 

Maps for Oysters by Region

 

Alphabetical Index for Pacific Northwest Oyster Varieties

 

Alphabetical Index for California Oyster Varieties

 
 
 
 

Did you find the information about Oyster Varieties useful? Or do you have additional info or questions?
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Leave a Comment [ Add a Comment ]

MDR [99.135.70.194] [ Mar 25 ]

looking for the characteristics of a Baja oyster(san quitin) or jailhouse

DAVID BUCHANAN [ Jan 20 ]

Thank-you Jennifer! Part of the goal of the site is to provide waitstaff w/ the info about oysters and fish which they need in order to be well informed and to make the pitch to their guests. You have a nice site as well. I like the idea of the server quizzes which you created.

IAMWAITRESS [67.190.117.230] [ Jan 19 ]

I am absolutely impressed with the effort you put into this list!  Bravo to you and your website.  Thanks for your time and education in helping to educate us.

Jennifer, iamWaitress.com

LYNDON COX [50.43.23.246] [ Sep 06, 2012 ]
I noticed that you left out two Oregon bays that produce quality oyster from your list. Umpqua Aquaculture produces their famous "Triangle Oysters" at Winchester Bay and Clausen Oysters farms their "Silver Point" at the North Bend of Coos Bay. Qualman's Oyster Farm is also located in Coos Bay. If you have questions or need further information, please contact me via my email address. Thank you, Lyndon Cox
DAVID BUCHANAN [ May 22, 2012 ]

Steve, I do intend to add the gulf state oysters!  If you have a list of some of your favorites post them here.

STEVE FRITH [66.186.242.238] [ May 22, 2012 ]

I like the site sand was looking at the oyster regions.  Seems you have the entire US covered except the Gulf Coast!  We eat oyster here year round and I was extremely suprised to see this area of the country was left out.

DAVID BUCHANAN [ May 19, 2010 ]

David, thank-you for the information!  Snow Hills Oysters have been added.