The Big Oyster

My BFF and I started the Oakland Readers Book Club eleven years ago. We recently read “The Big Oyster,” by Mark Kurlansky. “The Big Oyster” is a historical look at oysters in New York. It was my BFF’s book choice. I wasn’t surprised because oysters are one of her favorite foods.

If you ever wanted to know something about oysters, “The Big Oyster” is likely to have your answer. Did you know oysters are the only food that is eaten alive? Did you know that in the 1800’s, New York produced more than a billion oysters a year? There was a time oysters were more relevant than the hot dog!

Our book club always meets over a meal. This meal would be a potluck to include oysters on the half shell. My BFF picked them up from the Hog Island Oyster stand in the Ferry Building in San Francisco. The farm is actually located in Tomales Bay.

She had a great conversation with the manager George about “The Big Oyster.” He sold her some Bluepoint Oysters that would be great for our meeting because they originate in the Atlantic which is what we read about. He also threw in some Pacific oysters and Kumamoto Oysters so we could do a side by side comparison.

Big thanks to my BFF’s BF for shucking the oysters. They were all ready when we arrived. The largest ones on the platter were the Pacific, the medium ones were the Bluepoint, and the smallest ones were the Kumamoto. My favorite oyster has always been the Kumamoto, partly because of the size. I get intimidated by eating large raw oysters.

The oysters were all very fresh and like the book said “like eating the Ocean.” I was able to distinguish that the Bluepoint Oysters were sweeter than the other two. I still like Kumamoto Oysters the best, but discovered that I like the Atlantic more than the Pacific.

This was a great book club meeting because I learned a lot and tried something new. Thanks Oakland Readers and thanks JWo for capturing these photos.