The World's Biggest Oyster?

By Sara Bonisteel,

Over the weekend a friend and I introduced a visiting Austrian to his first raw oyster. We went to a kitschy seafood place in Queens, where the menu didn't describe what type of raw oysters they offered. We ordered a dozen and received a platter of the largest bivalves I'd ever seen. Most were a nearly a foot long, in craggy shells that arched and bent at uncomfortable angles.

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The waiter said they were from Washington State, but that was "all he knew." Some informal polling later led me to believe we had supped on Pacific oysters, which according to the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife can grow up to a foot long.

The oysters had a mild taste. I thought that breaded and fried, they'd be terrific in a po'boy.

I feel kind of sorry for the visiting Austrian. His first raw oyster was the size of a small dinner platter. When he orders them again and gets the much smaller Wellfleets, Kumamotos, and Moonstones, I hope he won't be disappointed.

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Photo: Sara Bonisteel