It’s been blowing out there… Today the gusts are over 32 miles an hour! But don’t fret, with the seas churning we went to the protected waters of Tamales bay for this weeks local treat: Marin Miyagi Oysters.
The old saying used to be “Avoid eating oysters or shellfish in months that DON’T have an “R” in it.” The idea back then, presumably handed down by the American Indians, was to avoid eating wild oysters and shellfish during the hot summer months when there was risk associated with increased bacteria growth, red tides, toxic events in the waters where shellfish were living and feeding. Now that most shellfish comes from commercial operations with strict regulations in place, and we have refrigerators to keep them cold, we don’t worry about this saying too much. Plus our waters along the CA coast are cold all year round, not like New England where the temperature can fluctuate 30+ degrees! In this region we do worry about rain, nutrient loading, and subsequent bacteria growth associated with winter: If it has been raining a lot and water quality is not good, the shellfish operations are not allowed to harvest. As you all probably experienced, this has not been one of those winters to worry about too much rain, or nutrient loading in our bays and in our shellfish. Quite the opposite, the lack of rain is troubling.
Well….it is April, and growing up back east, this would be the last month of the winter season to enjoy these delicacies. It was a a sign that we made it through winter (with the oysters help) and on to better weather; a harbinger of spring of sorts. Just like the lupin that vividly accent our glowing green hillsides, MLB opening day…or the howling winds!
You should receive about 18 oysters (small share) and you will have many options – you can eat them raw on the half shell, grill them, bake them in the oven, steam them, or even drink them as an “oyster shooter” with a shot of vodka. LCMB member Robin, also provided this recipe and blog post for making Pan Pacific Oyster Po’Boy. Yum!