Straits of Northumberland, NB, Canada
Glacier Bays are Atlantic Oysters (Crassostrea virginica) farmed in the crystal clear waters of the Northumberland Strait. The oysters are cultivated in off-bottom cages, growing slowly in the cold, nutrient rich water of the North Atlantic, taking up to 7 years to mature.
Glacier Bays are orangish brown to dark brown and mine average about 3.5". They are available fresh, year round. The color is pale cool brown with some gray and dark brown highlights. The cups are moderately large and look tumbled. The tenticles and edges of the gills are dark greenish brown. They smell like a tidal pool with some mineral and vegetal, green notes and reminds you of a rocky, flinty, granite North Atlantic sea shore. The oyster's liquor tastes like the smells. The body of the oyster is dissolve in you mouth buttery, creamy tender while the abductor muscle is tough and chewy and a little gristley. The texture ia 1/3 thin, 1/3 tough and 1/3 melt in your mouth. The flavors are clean and medium plus salty (3.5 on a 5 point scale). They are in between sweet and tasty with traces of pomme fruit and gray and medicinal but some mushroom, cheese and musky notes soften the medicinal flavors. There is also a healthy dose of umami. I rate Glacier Bays 80.
I am eating these with Wabasha Brewery's Red Dessert, an American IPA. The medium high malt flavors and the carbonation play well with the salt and the oyster's flavors. The citrus flavors from the hops recall the lemon juice that some people squeeze on oysters. The alcohol and carbonation help cut through the oyster's umami and the creaminess of the beer and the oyster complement each other. The oyster's salt tones down the beer's bitterness and the beer's bitterness soften's the oyster's medicinal notes and in the end, the beer and oyster get along like an old married couple - there may be rough spots here and there but overall, they pair nicely.
Glacier Bays are Ocean Wise Recommended (http://seafood.ocean.org) and Ocean Prime listed (http://www.oceanprime.ca/sustainability-principles.html and http://www.oceanprime.ca/glacier-bay-oysters.html). 8-15-18