And the foodventures continue! Last week, Oysterfest came to San Diego, and the weather was going to be gorgeous, so I headed south for the afternoon. I only just started eating oysters this past year, so this was my first Oysterfest. We decided to take the Coaster so we wouldn’t have to worry about driving, and get the party started early. A few bottles of champagne later, we were well on our way to the Embarcadero for some fun in the sun.
Unlike Poke Fest, there is no competition involved in this seafood celebration. Lots of sunshine, beer and live music set the tone for a shmorgasbord of all types of oysters. My favorite were the roasted variety with red sauce, pictured below. The backdrop was picturesque! Seaport Village is right on the harbor and the stage was set against the sprawling skyline of downtown. It was the perfect setting for an afternoon of dining and dancing, and the incredible summer weather was the cherry on top.
If you are unfamiliar with oysters, they come in many sizes and flavors. Oysters can be eaten raw on the half shell, smoked, boiled, baked, fried, roasted, stewed, canned, pickled, steamed or broiled. They can also be used in certain drinks, and are said to be a strong aphrodisiac. They come in many sizes and flavors, and can be found in select locations. Below are the five most popular types…
Pacific oysters: Typically named after the location the come from (ie: Fanny Bay), these oysters are small and sweet and have a slightly more fluted, sharply pointed shape. This variety is cultivated more than any other type of oyster in the world.
Kumamoto oysters: These are small and sweet like the Pacifics, but have a slightly nutty flavor in deep bowls inside the shells. Harvested in Japan or the US, these spawn later and in warmer water than other oysters. These are my absolute fave!
Atlantic oysters: Typically referred to as Bluepoints, these hail from the East Coast as well as the Gulf of Mexico.
European flats: Characterized by a smooth flat shell, these are known for their meatiness, brininess and seaweed/mineral like flavor. These have become highly popular in the US, while Europeans prefer the Pacific variety.
Olympia oysters: These little tiny oysters are about the size of a quarter. They are described as sweet, coppery and metallic in flavor, and are the only oysters native to the West Coast of the US. Due to their endangered status, they are heavily protected and most that are eaten are cultivated in BC and Puget Sound.