Kusshi Oysters (Crassostrea gigas) look like the Japanese Kumamotos but they belong to the Pacific Oyster species. Keith Reid grows them on the eastern side of Vancouver Island in Deep Bay using floating trays and them he tumbles them like crazy which breaks off the oysters' thin growing edges causing them to deepen and thicken their shells. Tumbling knocks off any rough spots creating a smooth, clean shell with deep cups. Kusshis are small - around 2" and almost round with a firm meaty body that nearly fills the cup.
The oyster has a clean seabreeze smell with a hint of cucumber. The liquid is salty with a touch of broth. The meat is less salty than the flesh with a rich cucumber flavor supported by a touch of melon. A hint of bacon, splash of celery, some light herbs, and a trace of mushroom support the cucumber, melon and vegetal flavors. The flesh starts firm and meaty and then melts away leaving a slight bit of membrane. I am eating these with Trojniak Mazurski Honey Mead, a traditional Polish mead made without thermal treatment which retains more of the honey character. The Kusshi's light saltiness highlights the mead's honey flavors and tones down some of the mead's sweetness. The mead's sweetness and honey flavors bring out the melon and cucumber flavors in the oyster resulting in a very pleasant pairing. Le Père Jules Poiré de Normandie makes an elegant pairing with the oysters bringing out more bacon and smoky notes. I rate the oyster 89.