East Coast Oysters
While the Pacific oyster has taken over much of the world, America’s native oyster, the Eastern Oyster, still represents nearly two-thirds of our domestic harvest. Because they flourish in a wide variety of conditions (from Long Island Sound to the Gulf of Mexico), oysters vary in taste and are often identified by the region in which they were harvested. Varieties of oyster include the popular Blue Point, Chincoteagues, Apalachicolas, Cape Cods and several others. Most oysters are about 3 to 4 inches in length.
Atlantic or Eastern oyster, cove oyster, American oyster
Primary Product Forms
Fresh: Live and in the shell
Frozen: Whole in the shell, shucked with oyster liquor
The most popular preparation, is shucked and served raw on the half-shell. For cooked preparations, make sure to cook them slowly and remove from heat as soon as the mantle starts to curl. One of the most common dishes is Oysters Rockefeller; broil in shells and top with bacon, butter, scallions, spinach and breadcrumbs.
Most East Coast oysters are farm-raised along the Atlantic coast stretching from Canada down into the Gulf of Mexico. There are some wild varieties available and are hand harvested.
Rated Best Choice (green) by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch.
The Eastern oyster can grow up to 10 inches in length and can live to approximately 20 years of age.