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Oysters- A Taste of the Sea

Did you know that NW Oysters are considered some of the best in the world? The reason our oysters taste so great  is our clean waters. Different locations give the oysters different flavor characteristics.

Oyster aficionado and great friend, Cynthia Nims author of Oysters, Recipes that Bring Home the Taste of the Sea -says, “Oysters are so cool,  they are filter feeders, filtering gallons and gallons of water – up to 30 to 50 gallons a day!”

Oysters from our pristine waters range in size from the tiny Olympia to large Pacifics. Mid-size Kumamoto oysters have a delicate texture and a deep fluted shell. This petite oyster has a crisp, sweet snap pea finish and is perfect for slurping.

Oyster purists say there is never a better way to eat raw oysters than unadorned, maybe with a squirt of lemon.  But for the uninitiated oyster-slurper, this can be a bit scary.  Nims suggests “If it’s your very first oyster then having a big glob of cocktail sauce is your training wheels –then go for it.” BUT once the training wheels are off,  try some naked or with fresh and light toppings like her Kimchi-Cucumber Relish – crisp cucumbers, finely chopped kim chi, rice wine vinegar and a touch of soy sauce.

Cynthia says that “Oysters have a richness that are complimented by things that are fresh, peppery and a touch acidic”, her book celebrates the different techniques and preparations that not only compliment these characteristics but enhance the flavor too.

So If all this oyster talk has made you hungry, check out our friends at Taylor Shellfish Farms, they have  great delivery options to get your shucking! –Kathy

 Photo by Jim Henkens.
Kimchi-Cucumber Relish
Enjoy on freshly shucked oysters.

Makes 1 cup, enough for about 4 dozen half-shell oysters

3/4 cup peeled and seeded finely chopped cucumber
1/4 cup finely chopped kimchi
1 tsp. unseasoned rice vinegar, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp. soy sauce, plus more to taste (optional)

In a small bowl, stir together the cucumber, kimchi, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Taste for seasoning, adding a bit more vinegar or soy sauce to taste. Let the relish sit for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to blend.

Transfer the relish to small ramekin or other small serving dish and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 1 hour.

Photo and Recipe from Oysters: Recipes that Bring Home the Taste of the Sea by Cynthia Nims, Sasquatch Books.

Follow Cynthia on Facebook and Twitter.

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