This past Saturday, a few of us drove over the Golden Gate Bridge to Tomales Bay to the Hog Island Oyster Farm. Any living thing that you pull out of the ocean (or bay), crack open with a knife, and slurp down without any mention of cooking feels wrong, doesn’t it?  Yeah, I thought so too.

That is, until Hog Island Oysters hit my lips.  What once felt wrong, suddenly felt oh. so. right.

I topped mine with some of their homemade vinegar and hot sauce, and then let them slide.  We sat and enjoyed the oysters overlooking the bay that they had pulled the oysters out of practically minutes before. As if these little babies couldn’t get any more delicious, it turns out they are a nutritious superfood,  and environmentally stable to boot, named “best choice” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch list.

According to the Watch List, oysters are filter-feeding shellfish that are extremely well-suited to aquaculture. Unlike some farmed fish, oysters minimally impact marine resources as they don’t rely on wild-caught fish. And, thanks to the oyster’s filter-feeding action, oyster farms can actually benefit the surrounding coastal waters. About 95% of the world’s edible oyster population is sustainably farmed and harvested. Shazam.

Um, but wait! There’s more. While enjoying these oysters in this scenery I only thought existed on the fronts of postcards, we were absorbing oyster’s impressive list of nutritious benefits. According to Edible San Franciscooysters are very high in zinc and vitamin B12. In fact, only 2 medium oysters provide over 170% of the recommended daily intake of zinc, and 90% of vitamin B12.  B12 plays a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood.  It’s a vitamin that many vegetarians are lacking in.

Speaking of being a vegetarian eating oysters, I’m sure you’re thinking but wait, isn’t that unethical?  I am mainly a vegetarian for health reasons, and I am physically incapable of not ordering a fish taco if it’s offered on the menu, but oysters actually lack a central nervous system, making it an ethically responsible choice for many vegetarians. So slurp eat up!

As I have just covered, raw oysters are heavenly.  Turns out, there is a heaven beyond heaven, and that is where you’ll find Hog Island’s BBQ’d Oysters.  I can say with confidence that these oysters were one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten.  What have I been doing spending the last 24 years on the East Coast, not eating these BBQ oysters?  I’m contemplating building myself a little cabin on the bay so that I can walk over the farm every day to eat these things for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  

Actually scratch that. After doing some research, I have found the recipe for their BBQ oysters, and am rethinking my cabin plan.  Although that would be nice, I like civilization too. Especially when they include these BBQ oysters. 

I hope you all get the chance to try Hog Island Oysters, and if you can’t make it to the actual farm, you can find their oysters around the Bay Area here.  For my East Coasters, they actually have a mail order system! 

Thank you to Heather for driving, and letting me tag along on your birthday adventure!

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