Due to extremely high demand, Shigoku oysters were already becoming the four leaf clover of the bivalves. Shigoku oysters are a new, tumbled oyster from Taylor Shellfish Farms; they have a deeper cup (from the tumbling) and therefore plumper morsel of the mollusk.
It's the Adrienne Barbeau of oysters, and restaurants and shellfish lovers have been going ape shit for the things ever since their debut. Due to a series of storms a few weeks ago,
Shigokus are gone for the season.The Shigoku oyster is the only tumbled oyster that Taylor Shellfish provides. By tumbling oysters, you break off any new growth; this forces the oyster to grow a deeper cup and usually a thicker shell. Other oysters, like the tiny Olympias, hearty Pacifics and elegant Kumamotos are bottom grown or grown in bags, but the structures needed for the Shigokus make them susceptible to storm damage.
"There's another crop of them growing up in Samish Bay that wasn't effected, but they're too small right now," says Jon Rowley, oyster godfather and spokesman for Taylor. "There weren't going to be many of the Shigokus this year as it was, but we have plenty of Kumamotos." Kumamotos also have a slightly deeper cup and have the same slightly fruity sweetness of a Shigoku, subtle and a general crowd pleaser. "The Pacifics we have also look fantastic right now," said Rowley. Pacifics are a meatier oyster, with just a touch of briny flavor and a distinct cantaloupe-like finish.
Shigoku frenzy will continue, April 2010.