Best Oyster Varietal: Barren Island Oysters

Hooper’s Island, (917) 584-8029,

When we’re in the mood to slurp down some oysters (as we frequently are), we typically opt for Maryland-sourced shellfish. Area bivalves tend to be included in buck-a-shuck deals, plus we like the warm-and-fuzzy sense of supporting local business. But even if none of those perks applied, Barren Island oysters would still be our go-to order for a dozen. Sustainably raised in mesh silos in the Chesapeake, these salty, creamy, almost-buttery oysters are plump and can stretch the length of a finger, so you get a decent amount of meat. They don’t need any accoutrements, but a little lemon and Tabasco doesn’t hurt.

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