HOW TO TASTE AN OYSTER
+Smell your oyster first. Bring it to your nose and inhale. The aroma should be super-fresh and should instantly transport you to the sea.
+Then use your finger or a fork to slurp the oyster into your mouth, along with its briny juices.
+Give it two or three good chews. Salt hits first, ranging from subtle to bold. Next you might detect a creamy or buttery flavor and finally a sweetness and metallic edge.
+Consider and describe the Nose, Body and Finish. Finally score the Flavour, Saltiness, Sweetness and Umami*
IRELAND - Gallagher Specials (rock)
Grown by our friend Edward Gallagher over 4 years in wild and beautiful Donegal, where a pristine peaty stream flows into the tidal Tragheanna estuary, giving a smooth, mellow and distinctive flavour to these special appellation oysters.
Nose Clean, open sea breeze
Body Apple, melon, wood. Plump but crispy and juicy
Finish Wonderful lingering sweetness with hint of minerals
Flavour 8, Saltiness 6, Sweetness 8, Umami 8
IRELAND - Irish Premium (rock)
The Gallagher family’s premium oysters are younger siblings to the specials above – grown on the other side of the estuary away from fresh water stream. They have a great texture with a lovely sweet finish.
Nose Soft, Fresh sea breeze
Body Some parsley, woody. Juicy plump and firm.
Finish Clean with a trace of minerals
Flavour 7, Saltiness 4, Sweetness 5, Umami 5
IRELAND - Tragheanna Bay (rock)
These smaller nuggets in Edward's range are named after the pristine bay where they are grown. Young sweet and satisfying with a good meat to shell ratio.
Nose Hints of salty breeze, iodine
Body Juicy, plump with cucumber and lettuce
Finish Lingering sweetness to savour
Flavour 6, Saltiness 4, Sweetness 6, Umami 8
FRANCE – Fine de Claire (rock)
Finished in the famous shallow clay ponds on France’s Atlantic coast, these green-gilled slender oysters are less meaty and more juicy.
Nose Strong salty smell of the sea
Body Woody and herby reminiscent of green sap. Juicy and slender, not fleshy
Finish Big earthy flavors of mushroom, leather and bronze.
Flavour 8, Saltiness 7, Sweetness 5, Umami 6
HOLLAND – Dutch Natives (flat)
In the Dutch coastal lake of Grevelingen, oyster plots are managed to encourage more of these stronger tasting (and more valuable) native oysters
Nose Echoes of sea spray
Body An intricate mix of walnut and driftwood with pear. Plump and silky
Finish Medium sweetness followed by a tannic steel finish which departs quickly.
Flavour 7, Saltiness 7, Sweetness 4, Umami 5
AUSTRALIA – Tasmanian Prime (rock)
Full-bodied flavour is enhanced by the clean cool waters of the Southern Ocean, where they have been grown since 1946.
Nose Smell of the open sea; iodine and ozone
Body Salted butter. Firm and creamy
Finish A metallic finish, perhaps zinc, with potting soil and mushroom essence.
Flavour 8, Saltiness 7, Sweetness 3, Umami 7
AUSTRALIA – Sydney Rock (rock)
Although smaller in size, the Sydney Rock oysters pack a punch of flavours!
Sydney rock is characterised by its deep, rich and lasting sweetness.
Nose Smell of the open sea; feral vegetal notes
Body Firm and creamy; mineral intensity
Finish Stringent copper-like finish
Flavour 9, Saltiness 5, Sweetness 3, Umami 9