Oishi oysters are a new oyster, just recently introduced. They are Pacific oysters (Crassostrea Gigas) tide tumbled oysters farmed in Skagit Bay in the north Puget Sound. When the oyster seeds are mature enough, the farmer transfers them from the nursery to mesh grow out bags that use the tides to jostle the bags. The twice daily the tides jostle the small oysters against one another causing the delicate fringe of new growth to break off, resulting in shells with deep cups full of meat. The Skagit river discharges to Skagit Bay, reducing the bay's salinity and helping to produce oysters with mild salinity.
The oysters range from a little over 2" to 3" and are roundish with fairly deep cups. The caps are covered with seaweed and barnacles and a mollusk here and there. They range in color from sandy bone near the hinge to darker shades of brown and dark green near the lip. The cups are cleaner and look more polished. The lighter ones are bone colored near the hinge and get light brown with green highlights near the lip. The darker ones have a greenish brown under surface with a darker green to purple overcoat. The meat fills the cup with just a small shot of liquor. They smell like a cold, clean northern beach with just a touch of tidal pool and green vegetation. The flavor starts mushroomy with a hint of Brie and then cucumber and green oriental vegetables come in. There is a little smokiness and butteryness in the flavor. I am washing these down with a Fair State Festbier - an Oktoberfest style lager. The beer is malty and lightly sweet, a little bready with a dash of hops and goes nicely with the oyster. The beer and the oyster together suggest a cucumber salad with croûtons, cucumber, meaty mushrooms, a pinch of seaweed and a nice metallic finish with helps dry the beer out. The oyster is slightly sweet with medium low salinity and a firm, meaty texture with no gristle or membranous quality. The pairing is excellent and Oishi oysters are well worth seeking out.