Oysters-a shucking story!

A Shucking story!

It’s like taking a sip of the ocean-fresh, crisp, and slippery-oysters are quite an indulgence nowadays. However, the story of how oysters became so popular overtime is quite shocking. They have been cultivated since ancient times all around the world. Oysters were abundant and full of nutrients-they were farmed in beds along the coastal waters of the 7 continents. From France to Australia to Asia, the poor and rich alike devoured oysters.

Oysters in the New World!

In the United States during the 19th century, oysters were cheap and mostly eaten by the working class becoming the new “Junk Food” of those living near the coastal waters of New York.  New York harbor became the largest source of oyster throughout the world. After years of cultivation- the story takes a turn for the worse. Furthermore, the rising demand exhausted the existing population of oysters. The used oyster shells were discarded in large amounts on the shores and coastal waters of New York Harbor causing the waters to become toxic. Eventually, this led to the inability for new oyster growth to occur. By the late 1920’s, oyster beds along New York harbor closed.

Oyster sourcing today!

Today, the care and time that is put into the cultivation of oysters is great. Oyster farmers will tell you what differentiates one oyster from another is………

-Oysters are filter feeders, their flavor and texture are influenced by rainfall, runoff, and the strength of the tides-

First of all, the quality of water that the oysters are farmed or in the wild will impact the oyster’s flavor. Secondly, it is very important to know where your oysters are from. Most fine dining seafood restaurants offer up the source of the oyster on the menu. At Catch 35 Chicago and Naperville, our oyster selection changes daily based on that day’s catch. Our menu lists not only the source from which the oyster was farmed or wild caught but also tasting notes of that specific oyster.

Oysters at Catch 35, Chicago and Naperville’s Best Seafood Restaurant!

Catch 35 offers a variety of East and West Coast oysters that change daily. Here are a few that you might devour throughout the year.

East Coast Oysters

Beau Soleil – St. Lawrence, New Brunswick                                                           

Size: Small, Taste: mildly briny, clean finish

Blue Point – Oyster Bay Harbor, New York                                                           

Size: Large, Taste: crisp and clean, light finish

Bras d’Or – Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia                                                           

Size: Large, Taste: a delicately balanced sweet flavor and sea brininess

Cape Cod – Cape Cod, Massachusetts                                                                       

Size: Medium, Taste: Briny and Buttery, plump meats, sweet finish

Casco Bay – Casco Bay, Maine                                                                                               

Size: Small, Taste: Very briny, firm, sweet meat

Cockenoe – Long Island Sound, Connecticut                                                                       

Size: Large, Taste: coppery flavor, full-bodied, moderately salty

Copps Island – Norwalk, Connecticut                                                                                   

Size: Large, Taste: plump meat, sweet briny flavor

Daisy Bay – Prince Edward Island, Canada                                                                       

Size: Small, Taste: superior meat quality, salty taste, and sweet finish

Damariscotta – Damariscotta Esutary, Maine                                                           

Size: Large, Taste: salty, full flavor, clean finish

Delaware Bay – Stone Harbor, New Jersey                                                           

Size: Large, Taste: mild flavor, briny and sweet

Duxbury Prime – Duxbury Bay, Massachusetts                                               

Size: Medium, Taste: Very briny, plump, sweet, buttery finish

Fat Baby – Long Island, New York                                                                                               

Size: Large, Taste: Meaty and Plump, medium salinity, sweet finish                                                 

Fire River – Richibucto, New Brunswick

Size: Medium, Taste: highly salty, sweet finish

De la Baie – New Brunswick, Canada                                                                        

Size: Small, Smooth, mild, salty, hint of seaweed

French Kiss – Miramichi Bay, New Brunswick                                                                       

Size: Small, Taste: medium body, sharp brininess, and mild sweetness finish

Glidden Point – Damanscotta River, Maine                                                                       

Size: Large, Taste: Briny, meaty, briny, buttery, clean finish

Gooseberry Point – Prince Edward Island, Canada                                                           

Size: Large, Taste: robust and briny, salty finish

Hummock Island – Westport, Connecticut

Size: Large, Taste: mid bodied, slight sweetness, medium brine

Katama Bay – Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts                                                           

Size: Large, Taste: salty start, sweet finish

East Coast Oysters continued…..

Little Shemogue – Little Shemogue Bay, New Brunswick                                               

Size: Medium, Taste: plump, medium salt content, sweet finish

Irish Point – Prince Edward Island, Canada                                                           

Size: Small, Taste: clean, bright taste with crisp and sweet finish

Malpeque – Prince Edward Island, Canada                                                                       

Size: Medium, Taste: light bodied, balanced sweetness, mild brine

Mayflower Point – Cape Cod, Massachusetts                                                                       

Size: Medium, Taste: bright brine, bold mid-palate, long finish

Misty Point – Pope’s Bay, Virginia                                                                                   

Size: Medium, Taste: briny, earthy, notes of lettuce and grass

Montauk Pearl – Napeague Bay, New York                                                                       

Size: Small, Taste: briny, mineral and white pepper front, medium-long finish

Moonstone – Point Judith Pond, Rhode Island                                                                       

Size: Large, Taste: strong brine, full body, mineral with a long finish

Naked Cowboy – Long Island Sound, New York                                                                       

Size: Large, Taste: strong minerality, bright flavor, highly briny

New Moon – Prince Edward Island, Canada                                                                       

Size: Medium, Taste: firm, meaty, mild brine, clean finish

Old 1871 – Fisherman’s Island, Virginia                                                                       

Size: Large, Taste: robust, briny, celery and grass notes

Onset Bay – Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts                                                                       

Size: Large, Taste: very meaty, salty, sweet seaweed finish

Pemaquid – Damariscotta River, Maine                                                                       

Size: Large, Taste: sweet, mildly salty, almond-like finish

Petite Little Shemogue – New Brunswick, Canada                                                           

Size: Small, Taste: plump with firm meat, clean mineral sweet finish

Pine Island – Long Island Sound, New York                                                           

Size: Medium, Taste: rich brine, full meat

East Coast Oysters continued…..

Pleasant Bay – Orleans, Massachusetts                                                                       

Size: Large, Taste: crisp, buttery texture, sweet finish

Plymouth Champagne – White Flat, Massachusetts                                                           

Size: Medium, Taste: light brine, sweet finish

Powder Point – Duxbury Bay, Massachusetts                                                                       

Size: Medium, Taste: plump, salty/sweet with a clean finish

Riptide – Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts                                                                       

Size: Large, Taste: Sweet and briny

Raspberry Point-New London Bay,Prince Edward Island                                   

Size: Medium Taste: Crunchy meat with a gentle brine and sweet mushroom finish

Salten Rock – Barnstable Harbor, Cape Cod, Massachusetts                                               

Size: Small, Taste: firm meat, high brininess with a creamy finish

Salt Pond – Point Judith Pond, Rhode Island                                                                       

Size: Large, Taste: meaty, high brininess, creamy & mineral finish

Savage Blonde – Prince Edward Island, Savage Harbour Bay                                               

Size: Medium, Taste: plump and sweet, mild brine

Salutation Cove – Prince Edward Island, Canada                                                           

Size: Medium, Taste: very briny and buttery, clean salty finish

Stingray Bay – Ware Neck Bay, Virginia                                                                       

Size: Large, Taste: plump, sweet, and slightly salty

Summerside – Prince Edward Island, Canada                                                                       

Size: Medium, Taste: light sweetness, mild brine, and deep cup

Sunbury Point – Prince Edward Island, Canada                                                           

Size: Medium, Taste: medium salinity, long finish                                                                                   

Washburn Island – Cape Cod, Massuchetts                                                                       

Size: Medium, Taste: Salty, full-bodied, and tannic with a clean finish

Wawenock – Damaricotta River, Hog Island, Maine                                                           

Size: Large, Taste: very salty, and full-bodied with a clean finish

Wellfleet – Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts                                                                       

Size: Large, Taste: mild, sweet flavor, high brininess, and clean finish

Wianno – Cape Cod, Massachusetts                       

Size: Small, Taste: plump, high salinity, clean finish

Wiley Point – Damariscotta River, Maine                                                                       

Size: Medium, Taste: light texture, high salinity, and hint of watermelon

Great White – Cape Cod, Massachusetts                                                                                   

Size: Medium, Taste: Salty, full-bodied, and tannic with a clean finish


West Coast Oysters

Big Cove – Puget Sound, Washington                                                                       

Size: Medium, Taste: mildly salty and very sweet, melon-like aftertaste

Capital – University Place, Washington                                                                                   

Size: Large, Taste: crisp sea salt flavor, clean finish

Chef Creek – Baynes Sound, British Columbia                                                                       

Size: Large, Taste: a nice medium briny, yet sweet flavor

Cranberry Creek – South Puget Sound, Washington                                                           

Size: Small, Taste: honeydew flavor, long lingering finish

Deep Bay – Vancouver Island, British Columbia                                                           

Size: Small, Taste: plump and sweet, mild brininess, light watermelon finish

Deer Creek – South Hood Canal, Washington                                                                       

Size: Medium, Taste: deep cup, full meat, crisp brininess, and clean finish

Discovery Bay – Discovery Bay, Washington                                                           

Size: Small, Taste: plump meat, briny sweet aftertaste

Effingham – Barkley Sound, British Columbia                                                                       

Size: Medium, Taste: briny, smooth watermelon or lettuce-like finish

Emerald Cove – Vancouver, BC, Canada                                                                                   

Size: Large, Taste: Clean, mild flavor, Cucumber finish

Evening Cove – Vancouver Island, British Columbia                                                           

Size: Large, Taste: fresh, clean, mildly briny, watermelon finish

Fanny Bay – Bayne’s Sound, British Columbia                                                                       

Size: Small, Taste: firm, mild brininess, cucumber finish

Fat Bastard – Willipa Bay, Washington                                                                                   

Size: Medium, Taste: Firm meat, medium brininess, and metallic finish

Fish Point- Bellingham Bay, North Puget Sound, WA                                                           

Size: Medium, Taste: firm meat, medium brininess and a sweet finish.

Gold Creek – Hood Canal, Washington                                                                       

Size: Small, Taste: mild, clean flavor with a light brininess

Hammersley Inlet – South Puget Sound, WA                                                                       

Size: Large, Taste: intensely flavored with a cucumber and mineral finish

Hangtown – Kitsap Peninsula, Puget Sound, WA                                                           

Size: Medium, Taste: sweet, buttery, soft brine finish

Hollywood – Vancouver Island, British Columbia                                                           

Size: Large, Taste: meaty, medium saltiness, nutty finish

Humboldt Gold – Humboldt Bay, California                                                                       

Size: Medium, Taste: meaty, medium brininess, sweet finish

Imperial Eagle- Vancouver Island, British Columbia                                                           

Size: Large, Taste: mild flavor, high brine, and cucumber finish

West Coast Oysters continued…..

Kumamoto – Humboldt Bay, California                                                                                   

Size: Medium, Taste: buttery texture, slightly salty, fruity finish

Kusshi – Deep Bay, Vancouver Island, BC.

Size: Small, Taste: sweet, light, and meaty with clean and delicate finish

Luna – Carlsbad, California                                                                                               

Size: Medium, Taste: delicate meat, crisp melon taste, cold salty finish

Imperial Eagle – Western Vancouver Island, British Columbia                                   

Size: Small, Taste: high brininess, mild flavor, and light cucumber finish

Mattaki – Barkley Sound, British Columbia                                                                       

Size: Small, Taste: perfect balance of strength, sweetness & saltiness

Midnight Bay – Hood Canal, Washington                                                                       

Size: Large, Taste: strong brine, full body, mineral, and long finish

West Coast Oysters continued…..

Mirada Bay – Southern Hood Canal, Washington

Size: Medium, Taste: mild flavor, sweet finish

Pacific Glacier – Denman Island, British Columbia                                                           

Size: Medium, Taste: mildly sweet, delicate fresh melon finish

Paradise – Nanaimo, British Columbia                                                                                   

Size: Small, Taste: soft meat, light brininess, crisp seaweed finish

Penn Cove – Puget Sound, Washington                                                                                   

Size: Medium, Taste: crunchy freshness of a salty cucumber

Purple Mountain – Hood Canal, Washington                                                                       

Size: Medium, Taste: melon favor, metallic finish, and mild brine

Royal Miyagi – Vancouver Island, British Columbia                                                           

Size: Medium, Taste: smooth, mild brininess, kiwi like finish

Oysters on the half shell

Satori – Denman Island, BC                                                                                               

Size: Small, Taste: fresh, briny flavor with a hint of cucumbe

Shamrock – Willapa Bay, Washington                                                                       

Size: Small, Taste: briny bite, clean, sweet flavor, cucumber and melon finish

Shigoku – Willapa Bay, Washington                                                                                   

Size: Small, Taste: briny bite, clean, sweet flavor, cucumber and melon finish

Snow Creek – Discovery Bay, Puget Sound, Washington                                               

Size: Medium, Taste: firm meat, mild brininess, iron and sweet finish

Stellar Bay – Deep Bay, Vancouver Island, Canada                                                           

Size: Medium, Taste: mild, clean, soft, and meaty

Sun Hollow – Hood Canal, Washington                                                                                   

Size: Small, Taste: sweet, plump, light brininess

Totten Inlet – South Puget Sound, Washington                                                                       

Size: Medium, Taste: seaweed, subtle earth notes, and strong salinity

Sunset Beach – South Hood Canal, Washington

Size: Large, Taste: full mildly briny, crisp, clean aftertaste

 

Southern Hemisphere Oysters   

Coromandel – Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand                                                           

Size: Small, Taste: clean, briny, slight cucumber finish