Oysters can be likened to wines, and their varieties are equally vast.
Oysters taste like the sea. There is no other shellfish which comes close, not lobsters, clams, mussels or even seaweed. The next time you slide a cold and succulent mollusc down your throat, pay heed to the saline, mineral and iodine tastes, and velvety, sometimes creamy sensation against the tongue.
The Tsarskaya is known to be specially cultivated for the Tsars and is both firm-fleshed and meaty. Farmed exclusively in Cancale, in Brittany, France, this specie was imported to France from Russia. On the palate, the Tsarskaya has a delicate texture that is well-balanced—after the initial saltiness, a clean sweetness lingers on the palate.
The Gillardeau comes from an equally impressive background. Its farms have been passed down through four generations of family members and its name has become synonymous with fine oysters, like a famed wine châteaux. In the oyster world, it is also one of the few to take on its producer’s name. They are also plump, fleshy and more expensive than most other varieties.
Excerpt from the January issue of epicure.