Species

Feb 28, 2014

Know your seafood- Oysters

Species

Is there anything more delectable than a fresh, raw oyster?  If you’ve ever visited our raw bars in Salem or Melrose, you know how seriously Turner’s takes oysters.

Oysters are bivalve mollusks with shells that tend to be irregular due to the fact that they attach to substrates. Most edible oysters belong to the family Ostreidae, also called true oysters.  Interestingly, these oysters are a different species from those that produce pearls, which are called  Pteriidae, or feathered oysters.  Like scallops, true oysters have a central abductor muscle that allows them to open and close their shell as they extract nutrients from filtering seawater. These creatures can live in many ocean tidal environments, which can impact their flavor.  Some of the environmental factors that can impact the taste of oysters include salinity levels, bottom type, tidal levels, and nutrient levels in the surrounding water.

On any given night, Turner’s normally offer at least four varieties of fresh local oysters.   While many of our customers are connoisseurs in local oysters, many others are interested in learning more about what is available locally and how these local varieties differ from one another.

Turner’s sources many of its oysters from the Pangea Shellfish Company.  A wonderful resource on a wide variety of different oysters, Pangea has developed a fantastic website with a section on the flavor profiles, harvesting techniques, and environments of each and every type of oyster that they distribute.  You can check out their website by clicking here. 

Here is an example of some of the great info they offer on their website:

wellfleet wild oyster

 So whether you are an oyster connoisseur or are looking to try one for the first time, we suggest that you visit Pangea’s website and read up on all there is to know about this delicacy from the sea.  Afterwards, we hope to see you at the raw bar to test out some of this info on the real thing!

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