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Nikifor Solovyov
Nikifor Solovyov

Buy Kumamoto Oysters

Since they are native to the warmer waters of Japan, they do not spawn in the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest. And because of their consistent, mild flavor, Kumamoto oysters are a favorite both among oyster aficionados and the novice oyster lover. In our restaurant we sell about three times as many Kumos compared to other oyster varieties.

buy kumamoto oysters

Best Kumamoto Oysters I have ever tried were from Baja California, Mexico. There is an isolated, remote protected bay down there called Bahia Falsa. Zero discharges of any kind into the bay with good, strong currents to keep the oysters, fed, oxygenated, growing and healthy:

These wonderful live oysters have a creamy flavor and very little saltiness thanks to the low salinity of Skagit Bay from so much Skagit River influx. This allows the sweet flavor of this rare oyster species to really shine through.

Harvested fresh to order and kept on ice all the way to your door. Ships with a temperature monitor that turns red if the temperature goes above 46F. Safe and delicious oysters, wherever you are in the USA! Exceptions apply to Texas and parts of Alaska.

Any tips on how I can serve them? Everybody enjoys their oysters in different ways. I think the best way to enjoy an oyster is to gently open it without disturbing it, slice the muscle underneath to release it from the shell, and serve it over crushed ice. I love them \u201cnaked\u201d, which is with nothing on them or with just a touch of lemon juice. For plump meaty oysters, a little Tabasco doesn\u2019t hurt though. For larger parties, some other traditional condiments also could include freshly grated horseradish, cocktail sauce, fresh wasabi, or mignonette, which is basically vinegar with black pepper and minced shallots.

Kumamoto oysters (Crassostrea sikamea) are quite small, only slightly larger than the tiny Olympia oyster. With its deep cupping and highly sculptured, fluted shell, this smooth, sweet, nutty & fruity morsel is a favorite of half-shell connoisseurs.

Fresh oysters are best kept alive by placing them in an open container in a refrigerator and covering them with a clean wet towel to prevent them from drying out. Do not keep them in a bucket of sea water, in plastic bags or other air tight containers.

The sooner live oysters are consumed, the fresher they will be (especially when you plan on eating them raw). Depending on whether you're eating them raw or cooked, they should remain fresh (when properly stored) for 5-7 days. If they start smelling fishy or if they are open, it's time to throw them out.

The simple oyster makes any affair a celebration, but oysters are adaptable and delicious not only raw but grilled, baked, gratin, souped-up and tossed into holiday stuffings as well. If the world is our oyster, we should definitely shuck those babies open and enjoy them. But first, a little information about these amazing mollusks is in order.

There are as many as 150 different kinds of oysters all springing from 5 species. To put it in simple terms, the basic 5 species are Pacific oysters, Kumamoto oysters, Atlantic oysters, European flats and Olympia oysters.

Although most American oysters are the same species, they have different flavors. Because oysters filter so much water, they develop a flavor profile from their environment. Different bodies of water have varying levels of salt and different kinds of nutrients. Atlantic oysters tend to be brinier and larger than Pacific oysters while Pacific oysters are creamier and sweeter. Kumamotos are a favorite raw oyster as they tend to be smaller.

Step 2: Lay the oysters on a sheet pan or grill, cup side down. If you have a cooling rack that fits inside the pan, it will help to keep the oysters from tipping and spilling their liquor. You can also use a bed of kosher salt to help stabilize them.

Step 4: Remove them with tongs as they open and carefully transfer them to another sheet pan to cool. Discard any oysters that do not open as they are dead. Pry open the shells and cut the oyster muscle attaching it to the shell. Enjoy the oysters as you wish.

Carefully raised by a family-run operation in Morro Bay, CA. Grassy Bar oysters are medium size and have plump and juicy meats with rich, briny flavor. With their classic oyster flavor these are definitely on the list of great eating oysters!

Good things come in small packages. Kumamotos are an Eastern Pacific oyster originating from the Kumamoto Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan. Cultivated on the West Coast since the late 1940s, these oysters take an average of two to three years to reach market size at, 1-1.5 inches. Each tiny shell packs in big flavor: Buttery, succulent meat with a lingering essence of cucumber and melon.

Oyster farmers worldwide rely on an abundance of healthy, productive seed to keep shellfish farms and the aquaculture industry thriving and sustainable. Raising seed in a hatchery setting protects young oysters from predators and environmental stresses, greatly increasing their survival success when transferred out to the bay for grow out.

Eastern oysters are large oysters with firm meat and a briny finish. They typically have a smoother and rounder shell than the Pacific oysters. These oysters pull their flavor from their environment and are native to America. They often come from the Chesapeake Bay or the Long Island Sound.

The shell of this oyster is elongated and rough, with an intricate display of irregular folds. The meat has a mild nutty flavor while still retaining the brininess of the bay. These oysters are sold in a variety of sizes, perfect for serving raw or cooked on any occasion.

Typically smaller than other oysters, about one to two inches in diameter, Kumamotos are round in shape with a deep cup and slightly scalloped shells. They have a sweet, buttery flavor. Given their size, they are an especially tasty half-shell treat.

Though tonight's menu offers 15 different oysters, from fat Fanny Bays that taste of the Pacific to coppery Diamond Points, time and again Hong (whose full name is Laphong Leng) reaches for a small, deep-cupped creature with ridges on its shell. "Kumamoto," he says, concentrating on opening oysters. "Very popular."

At San Francisco half-shell havens such as Zuni, PJ's Oyster Bed and Swan Oyster Depot, which has peddled oysters from its gray marble counter since 1912, the Kumamoto is a top-seller. And Kumos -aren't just a Bay Area phenomenon. From Los Angeles to Seattle, they fly out of West Coast raw bars. Shaw's Crab House in Chicago can go through 800 in a week, Manhattan's venerable Grand Central Oyster Bar sells hundreds each day, and from farms in California, Oregon and Washington, they're shipped as far away as Asia and Europe.

THE KUMAMOTO OYSTER, Crassostrea sikamea, is a native of Ariake Bay in Kumamoto Prefecture, on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu. It was never commercially important in Japan, where the preference is for larger oysters like the related Pacific (Crassostrea gigas), another Japanese import that today is the most widely cultivated oyster on the West Coast of the United States.

For a number of years before World War II, Japan shipped fingernail-sized seed oysters - also known as spat - to American growers, though Kumo seed was never exported. After the war, with Japan's traditional seed oyster regions of Hiroshima and Miyagi prefectures in ruins, Kumamoto seed production geared up. The Washington Department of Fisheries became interested in the oyster as a replacement for the West Coast's native Olympia, a tiny oyster in serious trouble because of over-harvesting and water pollution. An added bonus was that Kumamotos can be harvested into the summer, extending the traditional winter-spring oyster season. In 1947, 30 boxes of Kumo spat were shipped to Washington and planted in Puget Sound on an experimental basis. Some died but others grew to the size of an Olympia in about eight months, and hopeful West Coast oyster farmers began to plant.

"Some of my former students had taken over an old oyster lease there," recalls Robinson. "When I came down to visit, they served me tiny oysters found on the property. 'We're never able to sell these,' they said, 'so we just eat them ourselves.' I took one look and said, 'We can't eat these. They're Kumamotos!' "

IN THE 1980s, with a resurgence of interest in half-shell oysters among the American public, the Kumamoto was ready to be introduced into traditionally important raw bar markets like San Francisco. Among the first to push the Kumo here was Bill Marinelli, a marine biologist just starting out in the fish supply business. After the big wholesalers told him that Kumos would never sell because of their small size, he began peddling them directly. And when places such as Chez Panisse, Zuni and Berkeley's late Fourth Street Grill began buying, Marinelli recalls, "I knew I had a hit."

"It's a beautifully shaped shell with an appealing, bite-sized morsel inside," explains John Petrie, owner of Coast Seafoods Co., which raises hundreds of thousands of Kumos in its Humboldt Bay beds. "They're great for people who -haven't eaten many half-shell oysters."

Texture and flavor are also important factors, especially for veteran half- shell fans. During prime Kumo season, which varies according to region but runs roughly from January through June, the oysters should be firm but yielding, with a mild flavor. "Creamy," "sweet" and "nutty" are other words frequently used to describe Kumos.

Variations in flavor depending on origin are discernible, especially if you taste oysters side by side. In a late-January sampling of Hog Island Kumos fresh from Tomales Bay and Taylor Kumos air-shipped from Puget Sound, the Washington oysters had a pale cream color and a mild, sweet taste, while the California oysters had a slightly deeper flavor and color, with a bit more nuttiness. Both initially gave you a taste of the sea, and neither had the mineral aftertaste characteristic of other oyster species. 041b061a72


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