It is interesting to know that there are only five types of oysters harvested in the U. S. and each region has an oyster that has become popular among the consumers.
These are also known as Pacific oysters. They are quite small and they have a sweet flavor, becoming the most cultivated oyster of the world. These oysters, besides their taste, can be recognized from their specific, pointed shells. In the majority of the cases these oysters are named after the place they have been grown.
This kind of oyster is also known as Kumamoto oyster. Just as the previous one, this is also small and sweet and they are easy to recognize from their deep, almost bowl shaped shells.
Since they are span later and they can be grown in warmer waters, they can be found all summer long. This kind of oyster is most common in Japan and in the West Coast.
People also know these oysters as Atlantic oysters, and the interesting thing is that about 85% of the oysters produced in the U. S. belong to this group, such as Wellfleets, Bluepoints, Beausoleils, and Malpeques. The bluepoints usually come from long Island, while the wellfleets originate from Cape Cod.
These oysters are also known as European flats or Belons. While the Belons are really European flats, not all European flats are Belons. At some point this has been the most common oyster in Europe, but now the Pacific oyster is gaining more and more popularity here, while in the U. S. the European flats are becoming more popular. The oysters come in a smooth and flat shell and they have a sharp mineral taste.
These are the oysters known as Olympia, and they make the other oysters look big. They are native in the West Coast. Because of the Gold Rush in San Francisco their number decreased dramatically and for a longer period of time they have been thought to be extinct. Now there are some wild populations, but they are strictly protected. The ones that you can find in restaurants usually come from British Columbia.
In case you haven’t tried the oysters until now, maybe this would be a good time to try them, because you don’t know what you have been missing out on. Just go to a restaurant and get some professionally prepared oysters.