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Malpeque Oyster


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Had a supplier sell me Malpeque oysters that he guaranteed were raised on the Washington coast. He said it was a transplated Malpeque seed, tray grown.

Looked like a Malpeque, but when shucked resembled a XS Miyagi oyster, being a little more 'milky' and a little less cuccumber'ish.

Fact or Fiction? Anyone else see/hear of these oysters?

Edited by Chef Fowke (log)

Chef/Owner/Teacher

Website: Chef Fowke dot com

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Fact!

Or so says the sales rep.

We have been buying these oysters from Albion for a few weeks now, and I see little difference, if any at all. I think the only difference I have noticed is that the sizing is not as consistent, but this is likely a quality control issue with a new product, and nothing else.

Had one opened up last week that was huge ... like, beach oyster huge. Gross. :)

Even at a higher price point, the kusshi still gets my vote FTW.

-- Matt.

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I think that calling them Malpeque oysters is a bit misleading. Nearly all East Coast oysters are the same species (Crassostrea virginica), and differences between the various oysters (malpeque, st-simon, colville bay etc..) are due to culture practices and environmental conditions. This would no more be a Malpeque than a Canadian pinot noir be a Burgundy.

edited to add: further, Eastern Oysters are not native to the West Coast, do we really need to be spreading around another introduced species? (some Eastern Oysters are already cultured on the West Coast, but I don't know much about their biology)

Edited by Mallet (log)

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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As noted above, the Malpeque is a variety of Virginica oyster, which is an east coast or Atlantic oyster. A true Malpeque would be a Virginica oyster that grows wild in Malpeque Bay on Prince Edward Island.

A great description of the few mayor types of oysters and the enormous differences in taste that result from where they grow can be found at TheNibble.com. Location, location, location.

www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/fish/seafood/oyster-glossary.asp

I don't believe I have tasted a Virginica farmed on the west coast, but the above site says that the Totten Island Virginica is farmed in Puget Sound. I always assumed what are sold around here as "Atlantics" are flown in from back east, but perhaps that's not be the case. Seems clear that if you cultivate a Malpeque or other Virginica on the west coast it will taste different than that same species grown on the east coast, just as a Virginica grown off Long Island will taste different from one grown in Malpeque Bay. It doesn't seem right to call it a Malpeque if it wasn't grown in Malpeque Bay, but it would be fine to call it an "Atlantic" if in fact it's a Virginica.

I had some delicious oysters in the Seattle area last year; I'd love to try some Canadian ones!

Edited by Katie Meadow (log)
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I think that calling them Malpeque oysters is a bit misleading. Nearly all East Coast oysters are the same species (Crassostrea virginica), and differences between the various oysters (malpeque, st-simon, colville bay etc..) are due to culture practices and environmental conditions. This would no more be a Malpeque than a Canadian pinot noir be a Burgundy.

edited to add: further, Eastern Oysters are not native to the West Coast, do we really need to be spreading around another introduced species? (some Eastern Oysters are already cultured on the West Coast, but I don't know much about their biology)

The Pacific Oysters you know as "native" West Coast are introduced themselves.

They are known as Crassostrea gigas, the Japanese or Pacific oyster and they are native to Hokkaido, Japan.

They were introduced in BC in 1905 in Pendrell Sound and Ladysmith Harbour.

The only native species out here in the Olympia oyster (Ostrea lurida) and it is on the watched species list here in Canada.

There are 5 species of oysters growing here on the West Coast and there have never been any problems with the introduction of any new species.

They do compete with the native oyster for habitat and food supply but as all of these new species are cultivated, there really isn't a major problem as you have with salmon farming.

Oysters improve the enviroment they are grown in by filtering the water through their gills and by providing food and shelter for other marine life.

Taylor Shellfish which grows the Totten Virginica is a very responsible oyster grower and always goes to great pains to keep their operation very environmentally friendly and they have never marketed that oyster as anything but an Eastern seed oyster grown in Totten Inlet.

They are East Coast in texture and appearance but they are totally West Coast in taste. They just let them grow too big. It's like eating a cow's tongue.

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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Albion calls them Malpeque WC but they're actually Totten Inlet Virginicas. They don't taste anything like real Malpeques, I'm actually surprised they can be called that, not being from PEI. There used to be Belon WC (European Flats) as well, not sure where on the west coast they were raised, but haven't seen them in a few years.

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Albion calls them Malpeque WC but they're actually Totten Inlet Virginicas. They don't taste anything like real Malpeques, I'm actually surprised they can be called that, not being from PEI. There used to be Belon WC (European Flats) as well, not sure where on the west coast they were raised, but haven't seen them in a few years.

Albion isn't known for it's oyster knowledge but they are starting to smarten up......slowly...

They are only called WC Malpeques by Albion and by no-one else.

I have corrected them on this before but hate repeating myself.

The European Flats are grown in Desolation Sound just off Thynne Island.

The farm was bought by Bill Taylor of Taylor Shellfish 2 years ago and now they are shipping 98% of their product south of the border to Seattle.

Albion doesn't carry them as Bill raised the price by 2.00 a dozen.

Once again, they are Totten Virginicas and have never been called "Malpeques."

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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