Making a Grand Central Oyster Stew (with jarred Eastern Oysters) last week was the trigger for an oyster Jones this week. Since only live oysters will do, I headed to Quality Seafood at the Redondo Beach Pier. There was a bit of a letdown as 9 of their normal varieties (Baja, Pickering, Pearl Point, Belon, Viking Bay, Thunder Bay, Morning Dew, Little Skookum, and Del Sol) hadn't shipped. Consequently I had only 21, yes, 21, varieties of live oystes from which to choose. These oysters are glorious, alive in salt-water tanks. Well, "from which to choose" is misleading, as I was convinced by Mrs. Swift to try all 21, or more.
1. I did keep notes, but here are the varieties I tried (1 each) - most were in the center of the scale, but that may have been due to tastebud-numbness after too many.
The results of the tasting are subjective, but on this particular day, with their excesses, here they are In no partcular order, the Nama Hama was the winner, with a wonderful very firm texture, with briny and copperry overtones.
In hindsight, I can't give rankings despite detailed notes - they're just too personal. However, if you crave oysters on the half shell, you oughta go to Quality Seafood at the Redodono Beach Pier.
DISCLOUSURE: I eat at Quality Seafood once a month when we have our hair cut in the South Bay. They know us, but I doubt that they pick the oysters special for us.