Beau Soleil Oysters
Beau Soleil (beautiful sun) oysters are Atlantic Oysters (Crassostrea virginica) farmed in floating trays in New Brunswick's Miramichi Bay. During the warmer months they are suspended in bags just below the surface while in the winter they are moved to deeper water. Continual jostling about by waves gives them a smooth, consistent size and shape. They grow slowly in the cold waters, taking up to 4 years to reach 2.5 inches.
The dozen i got average 2.5 inches, are oval to tear drop shaped moderately shallow cups. The cups are smooth and clean while the caps are smooth and lightly polished bone with a light green wash and some algae growing on the low spots. The shells are solid and easy to shuck. The meat fills most of the cup with the liquor filling the rest. The meats are grayish tan
with green-black gills. Beau Soleils are easy to eat with no challenging flavors or textures. The oysters have a light sea smell - more off-shore than tidal pool or beach. The liquor is briny, approaching sea water levels. The flesh is meaty with a firm texture and is not gristly or stringy. The meat is sweet, mildly salty with an unchallenging, meaty flavor with some doughy, fresh out of the oven bread notes with a faint hint of smoke. A mild mineral touch on the finish dries things out.
I am drinking a Moose Lake Morning Haze New England IPA with the Beau Soleils. The oyster accentuates some bread notes in the beer and a little biscuit while the beer accentuates the oysters' sweetness. The oysters' mineral notes give the beer's hops a little pop. Together the beer and the oysters bring out a little fruit flavor. The pairing suggests that New England IPA make an excellent oyster beer. I rate the oysters and the pairing 89.