Updated: Mar 3
Oysters are a beloved delicacy in New England, with a long history dating back to the early settlers who harvested them from the region's abundant coastlines. Today, oysters continue to be a popular seafood choice in New England, with numerous oyster farms and raw oyster bars offering a variety of oyster varieties.
One of the most well-known oyster regions in New England is Cape Cod, which is home to some of the most sought-after oysters in the world. Cape Cod oysters are known for their plump, succulent meat and mild, briny flavor. They are typically harvested from the colder waters of the Cape Cod Bay, which helps to give them their unique flavor and texture.
In addition to Cape Cod, there are many other oyster-producing regions in New England, including Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Each region has its own unique oyster varieties, with varying flavors and textures.
Maine oysters, for example, are known for their crisp and briny flavor, thanks to the colder waters of the Maine coast. Massachusetts oysters, on the other hand, are known for their sweet and buttery flavor, due to the warmer waters of the Massachusetts Bay. Rhode Island oysters are known for their creamy and rich flavor, and are often harvested from the shallow waters of Narragansett Bay.
In addition to the different flavors and textures of New England oysters, there are also many different varieties to choose from. Some popular New England oyster varieties include Wellfleet, Duxbury, and Pemaquid.
Wellfleet oysters are named after the town of Wellfleet on Cape Cod, and are known for their large size and creamy, buttery flavor. Duxbury oysters, also from Cape Cod, are known for their sweet and briny flavor, and are a favorite among raw oyster bar aficionados. Pemaquid oysters, from the coast of Maine, are known for their crisp and briny flavor and are often served with a mignonette sauce.
In addition to being a delicious seafood choice, oysters also have numerous health benefits. Oysters are high in protein, low in fat, and are a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. They are also a sustainable seafood choice, as oyster farming is a relatively eco-friendly process that helps to improve water quality and habitat for other marine life.
If you are looking to try some of the best oysters in New England, there are many raw oyster bars and seafood restaurants that serve a variety of local oyster varieties. Some popular options include Island Creek Oyster Bar in Boston, Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland, Maine, and Matunuck Oyster Bar in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.
At a raw oyster bar, you can enjoy oysters on the half shell, topped with a variety of condiments and accompaniments, such as mignonette sauce, cocktail sauce, and lemon wedges. If you are feeling adventurous, you can also try grilled oysters, fried oysters, or oyster stew.
No matter how you prefer your oysters, New England is a great place to enjoy this delicious and sustainable seafood delicacy. So next time you are in the region, be sure to seek out some of the best oysters New England has to offer.