OYSTER OF THE MONTH – COTUIT OYSTERS
These gems are grown in Cotuit Bay located in Barnstable, Massachusetts on the inside of Noisy Point. The bottom is a mix of drifted silt and sand where the rack and bags are positioned in the cove. These 3 ½ to 3 ¾ inch oysters have an oblong tear drop shape with impressive deep cups. The meats are full and the perfect size for your raw bar. At our tasting, I thoroughly enjoyed these, the brine was moderate and not overpowering, the mouth feel was perfect, and the bite was firm and crunchy. The sweetness was unique, similar to a candy cap mushroom, building over time and lingering forever… totally enjoyed the flavor building aspect of this great all-round oyster. Let’s pair these with a “Gruner Veltliner” Ryan William Vineyard (Hector, NY) starting with a nose of crisp apple, like fall in the Finger Lakes, this dry white is crisp, your palate immediately grasps at a tart lemon and moves to a white pepper spice and of course pops with a signature vein of acidity that explodes in your mouth… refreshing or a pint of “Carpe Noctem” Canton Brewing (Canton, OH) a deep brown coffee porter with big aromas of sweet bread and pretzels, a full body that ends with a tinge of baker’s chocolate… very smooth.
OYSTER OF THE WEEK: PIRATES COVE
Here’s another selection from the famous Wellfleet area of Cape Cod Massachusetts. The farm is located on the outreaches of Blackfish Creek, along the sandy tidal flats. The Pirates are bottom cultured amongst the prevalent green algae that dominates that area of the flats with a profound influence on their flavor profile. The oysters are tumbled, giving them nice deep cups, semi-fluted shells and at 4”, an extra-select grade. At our tasting, the shuck was comparatively easy, the meats were abundant but not overwhelming and the nose was like a fresh ocean breeze. The slurp started with that Cape Cod brine that soon transitioned into a marine terroir (the green algae influence) with mineral undertones. For me… I drained some liquor and hit it with a light squeeze of lemon and it was bliss!! Let’s pair these with a “Sauvignon Blanc 2014” L’Uva Bella Winery (Lowellville, OH), crisp flavorful notes of lime, I prefer my Sauvignon young and zesty, reminded me of a bottle from Loire Valley… a classic pairing much like a bite of Crottin de Chavignol… exquisite!! Or a “Green Fuzz” Bullfrog Brewery (Williamsport, PA) a nose of citrus and lemon zest with the bold bitterness of a modern IPA, the Fuzz is hops forward. A great Pale Ale with the strong character of Galaxy hops
THIS WEEKS FEATURE: OPAH LOINS
This week we are looking to Hawaii for one of the most unknown yet exquisite tasting fish in the Pacific Ocean. The Opah or Moonfish is considered a Good Luck fish. Traditionally it was not sold but given away as a gesture of Goodwill by the natives. We have some long liners working due west along the Kona Coast. The trips are overnight, and the fish are super fresh. The flesh color varies from a harvest pumpkin orange to a pinkish red. The flesh is very firm, easy to slice and works exceptionally well in all raw presentations. When cooked the meat turns white and has the consistency of swordfish. The flavor is a delicious blend of a tender white meat with a fatty side bar, very distinctive. This is a definite “food bucket list” item, and works well broiling, baking, sautéed, smoked or steamed. Each loin is personally cut for your order.
PEI ROPE CULTURED MUSSELS:
We cut our North Shore mussels last week and the meats are exceptionally full with robust flavor. The Canadian waters are starting to cool and that means more glycogen in the water, the result is amazingly sweet meats. The ladies are showing off their brilliant yellow color which they call showing their lipstick on the island. The sizing has been consistent, not too big or small and the first thing I noticed when I picked up an individual mussel was the weight, so you could immediately tell they were heavy and full of meat!!