There are literally hundreds of different varieties of oysters available to consume raw, from all over the world.
When considering oyster selection- Salinity level is important, especially for someone who is an oyster “novice.” Generally speaking, people who haven’t eaten a lot of oysters will like a saltier oyster, which will have a milder oyster flavor, dulled by the higher salt content.
Pro-tip: East Coast oysters are usually a little higher in salinity, simply because of the ocean’s higher salinity content in the Atlantic vs. the Pacific.
The flavors and finishes of an oyster is what really makes them unique. Flavor is what hits you right away, and the finish is what lingers later on. Not all oysters will have a strong finish, and some are very mild in flavor. Flavors range from sweet, buttery, lettuce and melon. Finishes can range from vegetable or seaweed to cucumber. Have fun experimenting and tasting the difference for yourself!
East Coast Oysters
Wellfleets (from Cape Cod), – grown with smooth shells and tend to be milder than those farmed from the West Coast. The cold-water temperatures of New England slow down metabolism, producing slightly crisp, sweeter oysters;
West Coast Oysters
Olympia, (from Washington’s Puget Sound) it’s silver-dollar size grown with a fluted shell is clean (less salty) w/ an almost cucumber-like finish make it a perfect cocktail oyster.
Oysters are notoriously tricky to open. Preparing in advance with these special tools will definitely make it easier.