Regional Oyster Flavors


    Virginia is becoming the oyster capital of the East Coast -

    with seven different oyster regions and status as the largest producer of fresh, farm-raised oysters in the country.

    Regional Oyster mapUse this regional flavor guide for Virginia Aquaculture Oysters to choose just the right oyster for the occasion.

    The table below expresses the salinity of the growing region, as well as providing a scale rating for saltiness, sweetness, and buttery/creaminess.

    1-2 : Barely Perceptible
    3-4 : Slightly
    5-6 : Moderate
    7-8 : Very Noticeable
    9 : Strong

    Region Salinity Range Saltiness Buttery/
    Sweetness Comments
    #1 Seaside 28-32 9 3 3 Initial bold saltiness mellowing into a taste of sweet butter/cream at the finish.
    #2 Upper Bay Eastern Shore 16-18 5 1 3 Classic Virginia Bay oyster flavor with balanced salt and sweet, with a savory finish.
    #3 Lower Bay Eastern Shore 18-22 7 3 3 Salty and creamy with mellow sweetness and a quick finish.
    #4 Upper Bay Western Shore 10-17 5 2 2 Sweetwater oyster with a light cream taste.
    #5 Middle Bay Western Shore 16-18 5 3 3 Lightly salty with easily distinguished cream or butter and a pleasant slight minerality.
    #6 Lower Bay Western Shore 16-18 5 2 2 Mild saltiness moving to a sweet finish.
    #7 Tidewater 16-30 8 2 3 Salty oyster with sweetness and a smooth finish.

    Source - Virginia Aquaculture Oyster Growers 

Last Updated: 9/13/2012 10:44 AM
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