Not just any oyster: Kusshi Oysters
I am a lover of oysters but until recently I wasn’t very discerning about the type or where they came from. Then I met Keith Reid owner of Stellar Bay Shellfish just north of NaniamoBritish Columbia, Canada. Keith has been involved in raising oysters for many years, in fact he learned from his father and in recent years has developed a method of producing the ideal oyster, the Kusshi Oyster.
Kusshi means ultimate in Japanese and true to its name, the Kusshi is one of the finest oysters I have ever tasted. Whether you partake of it the moment it is farmed or add a mignonette sauce, once you have tasted these gems all other oysters will have a challenge comparing to the Kusshi. The reason these oysters are different is that frequently they are brought out of the water in their flats and rotated till the frill edge is broken away allowing the oyster to concentrate on bulking up its meat instead of wasting energy growing the shell. They generally vary in size from the length of the average thumb to the length of the average forefinger. Because they are also deep water raised, their abductor muscle is not as strong, allowing for easier shucking.
The Kusshi takes approximately 2 years from when they are first spawned till they are ready for the market. The interesting fact is that if the same oyster was seeded on the beach, they could grow much larger but not as tasty due to their growing conditions.
With the French production of oysters dwindling, Stellar Bay is gradually increasing it growing beds and is shipping world wide. Because of its close proximity from the beds to the processing plants as well as easy access to shipping, the Kusshi can be at your local marketwithin 24-48 hrs. I have been trying to hook Keith up with one of Russia’s largest seafood suppliers so I can continue to enjoy their outstanding flavour in the not too distant future. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they finally make a connection.