Oysters, Toronto Style.

As a sucker for oysters, I have learn from my mother the proper way of shucking oysters, who learned it from books just because my father loves oysters also. Women in love are amazing, especially once they have found the love of their life. However, to properly assess my ability to shuck an oyster, the most important you need is a batch of fresh edible oysters. Many years ago, when my father was introduced to a seafood store called Diana’s seafood Delight by one of his Greek colleague, we immediately marked this place as our primary source for fresh oysters.

Diana’s original building looks like a sail boat made of Mediterranean building materials, however, it was easily missed due to the fact that there is a coffee shop right in front of it.


Their prices are reasonable, for the most part, while their staff are very knowledgeable in the seafood they sell. The best part for me is that due to the years of purchasing our indulgences from them, I’ve noticed that some of the ladies there have aged as I grew up. The staff retention rate is amazing at this place and I am always happy to shop with a business that have a high employee retention rate as it usually means the staff are treated with respect.

As our financial status increased, due to me obtaining a pretty awesome job, I changed the way my parents have been trying out oysters and started focusing on the more expensive side. When I was in school, my parents would usually go for the boxed oysters from P.E.I, which usually goes for about sixteen bucks while containing between eighteen and twenty four oysters. Sometimes they may opt for the cheaper ones, which was about thirteen dollars but for approximately thirty oysters. However, those oysters aren’t always guaranteed and some may have little parasites on the shell due to is proximity with dirt while being grown.

A suggestion on eating oysters is always eat from the lightly tasted ones to the stronger tasting ones, when I was still young, I asked one of the staff at Diana and he explained to me that if I am not familiar with the oysters, always goes by the price at Diana’s. He said he priced the oysters based on the price he was able to get them at, with a small mark up for profit. However, the more expensive the oyster’s prices are, it usually meant it is usually more sough after and therefore the flavour would be stronger. Of course the next thing you have to consider is the size of the oyster, if two oysters are priced the same but one is larger, eat that one first unless it is clear the smaller one’s price is due to the cost of shipment. He ended up giving me a fifteen minute lecture on how to eat oysters, ranging from shucking them to actually enjoying them. To be honest, at the time, I pick up all of the things he was trying to teach me. However, the pricing chain is a guideline I’ve been going by for a short while now.

Here are some oysters and their prices I picked up for this experience. That rule that I remembered is still holding.

Acadian Golds are small and easy to open. Sadly all I can taste in this oyster is sea water. 


Maybe it was better when I was able to compare it to the Odd ball Point oysters, however, it is a good starter oyster.

French kisses are slightly better as it has more flavours to it. I would say their flesh is filled with a strong seaweed taste but it is not a revolting seaweed taste, more like that aroma seaweed gives off in your mouth as it turns soggy and break apart. 


Some people may like this taste but I personally avoid it as I have been a seaweed snacker all my life. I don’t like that taste at all when seaweed turns soggy as it usually means the sushi have been sitting too long. The shell is easy to open.

 

Kusshi oysters are the ones I tried at the Sands Expo where I actually went back to line up for more! They are creamy, small and fully packed with meat. The shells are a small challenge to open as it is so small. 


They are slightly larger than a kumamoto oyster while smaller in comparison to both the Acadian Gold and the French Kiss. I will definitely buy this oyster again if they still have it.

I am not unfamiliar with Marina’s Top Drawer oysters, they were great last time I tried them and therefore picked them again this time. The shell breaks apart rather easily and therefore is a very challenging oyster to shuck. There are times when the shell would crack and break apart at abnormal locations. However, the meat is definitely worth the struggle. 


It is not as creamy as the Kusshi and therefore brings a balance taste to the tongue. Their shells are also very different when compared to your typical oyster, when I first saw them, I thought they were conches.


Note the keyword in the sign, this is a small version of the oyster, can you imagine if it was large?

Beach Angel is the big bang in this set, to be precise, Beach Angel Extra Large. This oyster was a challenge to open, period. It is huge, the length of one of these is about four Kusshi oysters or two Marina’s Top drawer. The shell doesn’t break apart as easily as the Top Drawer’s but it still chip apart as my shucking knife enters it. The oyster’s muscle is also super strong, I literally have to struggle with it as if we were on some man versus nature television show. The time it took me to open two of these could have allowed me to open about two dozens of French Kisses. 


They were so large that the white plate I was using to bring the oysters to the table can only hold two, so I just took the serving plate and put the oysters directly on it as it is ready for consumption. Due to the size and age of these oysters, they were the best in textures and flavour of the batch.

Over the years, the owner have started advertising in the Chinese news paper and therefore have an increase flow of oriental people visiting this place. And as his cash flow increased, the coffee shop blocking the Diana’s seafood sign is now turned into Diana’s Oysters bar. However, I still prefer to enjoy oysters at the comfort of my own home along, watching my parents swallowing those oysters which I just opened.

 

One thought on “Oysters, Toronto Style.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.