I was at the Star Market in Harwich last night to select something from the seafood counter for dinner when the oysters sent my eyeballs nearly out of my head. I've never seen oysters so huge.
It was the size of a hamburger. Check out the little mother-of-pearl hitchhiker on the shell.
Over all, I haven't had too much confidence in the freshness of the oysters at that Star. I purchased three a few weeks ago and one of them had no juice inside and didn't smell right. Rather than sit on rotting seafood until my next trip to the store for a refund, I threw them all away. I really dislike throwing money in the trash.
I thought I was done with oysters at the Star until I saw the monsters last night. I figured it would either be delicious, or quite terrible. In fact, it could possibly be the last meal I ever ate.
I went for it. At $5.99 per pound this guy was about $2.00 all by himself. Pity that most of the weight goes into the shell which gets tossed.
This muscular oyster put up a fight but I pried open the shell to reveal glorious, glistening bivalve flesh. It was happily swimming in its "liquor", the seawater it filters within it's shell.
I can't begin to describe how wonderful was the texture and the briny, delicate flavor. Every time I eat an oyster everything wonderful about the ocean --the scent, the sound of the waves, the feel of the sand under my feet-- comes to the surface of my mind and in one bite, or in this case, a few, the oyster is down the hatch and I'm desperate for more.
Oysters are like wine and cheese. Where the grapes grow and what the livestock and oysters eat determines everything. I asked the clerk at the counter where these giant oysters came from but he didn't know. Generally the largest oysters I see on Cape Cod are "Barnstables", which are difficult to find in the seafood stores. I will take another trip to Star today to get more of this magnificent batch and I'll press for the source.