The oysters we had the other night in P-town were getting spawny. It’s summer–a cool one, but still summer, so the oysters have lost their briny, idiosyncratic edge, the flavor that marks them as a certain species in a certain water. They’ve grown flabby and creamy, inevitably fertile. I’m glad there are cultivated things that haven’t become completely unseasonal, indistinguishable month to month. We’ve tried to achieve it with tomatoes and strawberries, and haven’t.
I do love Wellfleet oysters, but the oysters I long for are those from Tomales Bay. The oyster company out there in Marin County, called Hog Island after the bay island once peopled with pigs, was one of our favorite destinations in the Bay Area. We’d park the car just off the narrow slip of road along the bay, hear the crunch of oyster shells under the tires, feel the breeze off the water, walk just a few yards to the table of sorting tubs right on the shore, and order 50 or 100, depending on who was coming over later.
Kumamotos–which fit into the circle of your hand’s ok sign–, Sweetwaters–Pacific essence…
Sometimes we’d hike, or stay over, and wade in the water on the opposite side of the long, skinny bay.
Shucking, back in our birdhouse apartment in the Berkeley hills, Peter would find an extra dozen or two. Shhh… don’t tell!