In A Geography of Oysters,
Rowan Jacobson notes,“Different oysters suit different occasions and different people. If you haven’t yet been wowed by oysters, you may well have been dallying with the wrong ones.” His lively ode to bivalves is intent on coaxing out the oyster eater in each of us:
The Sweet Tooth
Salt? Yuck! But there is nothing quite so divine as the creamy sweetness of a superplump oyster. Forget Eastern oysters.
You want the best oysters in the world, price be damned.
The Grail Seeker
Wellfleets? Westcotts? Been there, done that. You’ve had all the common oysters and want to taste new ones no one has heard of. And you’re willing to travel.
The Wild One
Forget those hatchery-raised wimps, you want a natural-set oyster that survived the one-in-a-million journey from egg to adult.
You eat with your eyes as much as your belly, and you love the gemlike shells of some oysters.
Those potent, briny, musky oysters are as overblown as an Australian Shiraz. You like to savor oysters with wine, so you want subtle mineral flavors, not metal and salt and mud.
Bring on the tangiest, muskiest, biggest, most challenging oysters possible. You don’t scare easy.
The Clean Freak
You prefer filter feeders from pristine waters.
The Minister of Silly Names
For you, half the fun is the goofy things oysters are called.