Go Shuck An Oyster's 10 Best of 2009

Here is the 10 best of the best from 2009:

10. Best Charitable Gift Option

The Massachusetts Oyster Project (MOP) MassOysterCard by Capital One is our pick for 2009 Best Charitable Gift Option.

The Massachusetts Oyster Project (MOP) is dedicated to the restoration of oysters to marine estuaries initially in the Boston area. Donations can be made by paypal, by mailing a check or by signing up for and using the MassOysterCard, a Capital One credit card. It has no fee, and if you use it once, they donate $25 to MOP. And 1% of all your purchases go to MOP. It is a painless way to give to a great cause. For more information visit them online by clicking here.

9. Best Guest Contributor Story
Bryan Kurzman, you have the title of 2009 Best Guest Contributor Story.

We receive a lot of emails at josh@goshuckanoyster.com (keep the coming!) and some of the emails we publish for our readers to enjoy. Several people enjoyed Bryan's discovery of an oyster stand at his local town fair. The original story is online by clicking here.

8. Best Oyster Shucking Gloves

Several of our readers liked the $4.49 glove mentioned here, while others chose a higher quality glove like this one and even this glove.

7. Best 'Free Knife' for my Blog Followers

With the coupon code: GoShuck, you'll receive a free shucking knife when placing an order for oysters or any other seafood with Farm 2 Market. See a review here or place your order here.

6. Best Volunteer Gig
Mass Oyster Project Placement Event

I had a blast helping out the good folks of MOP. They even gave me waders and put me to work in the water. Who knew a day helping them would get my picture in the Boston Herald. Read about the event here and here.

5. Best Will-Work-For-Oysters Experience
A Day with Aaron and Eric of The Big Rock Oyster Company

Oh, how we enjoyed a sunny July 2009 day on an oyster bed in Crowes Pasture. Read about the experience here. I look forward to spending a day or two with them again in 2010!

4. Best Author
Rowan Jacobsen

But you knew this already. Right?! If you didn't, what are you waiting for - order his books today for yourself or for someone you know who loves oysters. 2009 featured Jacobsen's newest book, The Living Shore. Our all time favorite book is still his, "A Geography of Oysters".

3. Best Festival
B&G Oyster Invitational

Unfortunately this year, due to circumstances beyond our control, we are not able to attend two festivals that would have been considered for title of Best Festival, The Wellfleet Oyster Fest and Island Creek Oyster Fest but take nothing away from B&G, the food was fabulous, the wine pairing blew us away and the class at Stir on Discovering your Oyster Palate was worth every penny. Also to rub shoulders with oyster celebrities like author Rowan Jacobson, the worlds fastest shucker William Chopper Young and Boston's best wine sommelier Cat Silirie to name a few. See our recap of the day here.

2. Best "Local" Oyster
Island Creek - hands down.

Okay, you know we are located on the East Coast, more specifically on the South Shore of Massachusetts. Island Creeks are everywhere around here but when I pick them up in Duxbury, damn they are tasty and fresh!

With several different people harvesting oysters in East Dennis, it should make for an interesting 2010 Best "Local" Oyster contest.

1. Best Shipped Oyster
Farm 2 Market

I often buy oysters from far away so I can try different ones. I am also fortunate enough to receive emails at josh@goshuckanoyster.com from a farm or store asking me if they can ship me some oysters or other seafood to sample. I'll gladly sample fresh oysters and seafood! If it's good, I'll even mention it on my blog and/or website. If it's not good, I'll still mention it on my blog and/or website so you better be proud of your product before you ask me to taste it and share my thoughts.

Why Farm 2 Market? I love my oysters fresh! They shipped me a ton of food over 3000 miles to demonstrate to me the freshness. My entire staff was quickly convinced and stuffed after a great meal. Read our review here.

I wish all of my readers a happy, healthy and shuckin' great 2010!

Farm 2 Market - Seafood so fresh you must try it!

Last week I placed an online order for oysters, mussels and clams at Farm 2 Market. The name of the company describes exactly what you experience with their product. My order left the Farm via FedEx standard overnight shipping and arrived some 3000 miles later on my doorstep within 24 hours. I live in New England and I often can not get seafood this fresh.

By the time "fresh" shellfish arrives at some local seafood stores or supermarkets, it might be out of the water for a one day, a few days or even longer. By the time you go to a store to purchase it, it is possible a few more days have passed. Even if you place an online order from Farm 2 Market in advance, your seafood doesn't leave the water until the day before when it is packed on ice-packs for shipment.

online oyster ordering farm 2 marketThe freshness of the seafood is amazing and immediately evident when you unpack the cooler. The shellfish arrived clean and packed in mesh bags, sorted by type and labeled. I ordered the "five dozen Cultured Oyster Sampler" which included: Kumamoto, Pacific Oyster Evening Cove, Stellar Bay, Deep Bay, and Penn Cove Select. Another benefit of ordering oysters online is that it allows you to try different oysters or oysters you can't get locally. Every oyster arrived alive and fresh, filled with their natural liquor, and excellent on the half shell. We simply shucked and ate them all, as we shucked them. They were the perfect start to the feast we had yet to enjoy.

oyster knife and gloveIf you don't have an oyster shucking knife, no need to panic as reading my blog has benefits. When you place an order with Farm 2 Market, type GOSHUCK in the promo code field and a quality oyster knife will be included with your order. My order came with two Dexter knifes, they have a short blade perfect for shucking (opening) all types of oysters.

Cooked Manila ClamsOur next endeavor were the Manila clams, 5 lbs to be exact. We cooked the clams into a pasta dish, which was delicious. The clams were clean and sweet, and were perfect in the Rachael Ray recipe, Spicy Fettucine with clams and chorizo.
Penn Cove Mussels
The Penn Cove mussels were our favorite, perhaps the best mussels any of us have had! Restaurant owners take note, get your mussels from Farm 2 Market! They were large, dark and fresh. They were ready to cook, after a quick rinse and a little debearding. They were incredible cooked with just a simple sauce of butter, garlic, wine and herbs.

where to buy sushi grade tunaAs a special treat, a tuna steak was included with my order, in a separate cooler. The tuna was sushi-grade tuna loin, about 2.5 lbs. It was so fresh it barely needed cooking. Some of us wanted to eat it raw or sashimi-style, but we elected to serve it lightly seared. It was incredible with just a little salt and pepper, and some sesame seeds.

Ordering online is easy. As you enter the website, you may even be greeted by a web greeter or fish expert. Jenny was my fish expert and she offered to help me with my order. I chose to try to navigate the website on my own and found it to be an easy experience but it was nice to know that help was a click away.

Given it's holiday season now, I will share a tip with you that the folks at Farm 2 Market informed me of. If you place an order, for something like the Oyster Sampler, when you receive your confirmation email, you'll be invited to add clams and mussels to your order at a discount. So place your fresh seafood holiday order today and enjoy a discount and a free oyster shucking knife. Don't forget the promo code GOSHUCK.


Are you an Oyster Aficionado?

Do you think you have the knowledge to call yourself an Oyster Aficionado? Now you can find out for sure by taking a ten question exam on the Oyster Aficionado website, for free! Before taking the exam you can read the information on the Oyster Aficionado website. The website has multiple modules that range from the history of oysters to the different species around the world. After you learn all of the information you can take the exam and email in your answers. Answer 9 out of 10 questions correctly and you'll receive an Oyster Aficionado Certificate of Achievement, suitable for framing. Go ahead, try to join me in the ranks of Oyster Aficionado!

A First Experience

An email from a reader:

"Surprisingly, until recently if you had put an oyster in front of me I would have cringed and pushed it away. While I have been an avid seafood eater my whole life, the idea of eating a raw, slimy oyster, as it is to many people today (not you of course), disgusted me. I was surrounded by them growing up, as my friends and family have been oyster eaters for as long as I can remember, but the idea of slurping one back just never appealed to me.

One day I was out with some friends at a local seafood joint. A few people ordered a HUGE platter of oysters, and while I insisted that I had no interest in trying one, they refused to take no for an answer. Maybe it was seeing how much the other people at the table were enjoying these super fresh oysters, or maybe it was because I had a handful of beers in me at this point, but I grabbed one, threw some lemon and cocktail sauce on that bad boy, and threw it back. It was love at first bite. I proceeded to put a down a half-dozen that night and never looked back. Within a few days, one of my salty, Cape Cod friends taught me how to shuck an oyster (it's all your fault, Sherman) and my passion for the crustaceans took off!!! I went out and got my first oyster knife, and before I knew it, I was buying oysters 3 nights a week for months! Soon, I was going to oyster festivals, hitting up various local oyster bars, finding the cheapest places in the area to buy oysters to shuck at home, etc."

I love your blog and wanted to share my story.

Oysters found on Squidoo

Oyster information can be found online at the website Squidoo. Unfamiliar with Squidoo? Squidoo is a website in which users create "lenses" on topics of interest. Lenses are pages, kind of like flyers or signposts or overview articles, that gather everything someone knows about a topic of interest--and snaps it all into focus.

So what oyster information can be found on Squidoo?

1. Go Shuck An Oyster - Connecting people with oysters, shucking knifes, festivals, t-shirts, etc.

2. Delicious Oyster Recipes - Recipes.

3. True Facts about Oysters - True facts.

4. Oyster - Information and facts.

5. Seafood Festivals - A listing of seafood festivals.

Click on some of the links above to view a Squidoo about oysters. Considering creating your own lense about a topic that interests you? Click here to get started and learn more.