- Size: Small (less than 2 inches)
- Temperature History: held at 37 degrees F
- Delivery Presentation: live in shell
- Taste: sweet, minerally, vegetal, light salinity, melon finish
- Texture: plump, creamy, velvety, silky
- Origin: Northern California, Humboldt Bay
- Aquaculture Method: off-bottom culture
- Availability: September - May
- Sustainability Rating: Best Choice - Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch
- Recommended Preparation: live/raw on the half-shell with mignonette or lemon
- Pack Size: by the dozen
- Nutritional Info (serving size 1/2 dozen) Calories 81, Fat 3g, Cholesterol 53mg, Sodium 119mg, Carbohydrates 5g, Fiber, 0g, Sugars 0g, Protein 9g, Selenium 75mcg, Iron 8mg, Vitamin B12 28mcg, Zinc 40mg, Manganese .6mg, Vitamin D 0 UI, Omega 3's ~ 750mg
The Kumamoto oyster is endemic to Japan and other Western Pacific countries, but is now harvested sustainably in Northern California since the water conditions are ideal for oyster cultivation and because the ecosystem there is thriving. Kumamotos are noticeably small and sweet; the light brine and melon-like finish make this species extremely approachable. The meat has an ivory opacity to it, the texture is creamy and plump, and the oyster's natural sea water composition present a mouthfeel that is silky, slippery, moist, and dense. Kumos are grown in baskets, off of the bottom, and kept clean of sand and grit as a result. The less than two inch shell is a thick and deep bowl-shape because these baskets tumble with the tides daily. The outside of the shell is typically a whitish, green-grey color.
- Oysters are good for you and high in Iron, Selenium, Zinc, and B12
- There are 5 main species of Oyster that we eat in the US: the Atlantic, Olympia, Pacific, Kumamoto, and European Flats
- Pacific oysters are sweet like cucumber with light salinity level; Atlantic oysters are more earthy and mollusk-like in flavor; Olympias and European Flats are briny with a metallic finish; Kumamotos are sweet and melon-like
- Fresh water will kill your oyster
- Live oysters should be well-hydrated and not dry. If they are dry, don't eat them; they are dead.
- When pairing with wine, try to match the salinity of the oyster to the acidity of the wine. Light, crisp white wines will usually pair nicely.
- To shuck, use an oyster knife and insert it into the knobby hinge of the oyster, twist the knife like turning a doorknob, slide the blade across the inside of the shell to cut the abductor muscle, and remove the pieces of broken shell and grit with the tip of the oyster knife. It's that simple.
- When describing the taste of oysters, try describing the tastes as they move from (1) the upfront level of salinity to (2), the body which is typically either earthy (i.e. mushroom-like), sweet and fruity (i.e. melon-like), or vegetable-like (cucumber), and to (3), the finish (lingering taste), which is either one or more of its minerality (i.e. copper), crispness, sweetness, metallic-ness, ocean-like characteristics, and/or crispness.