Iwagaki, Summer Oyster
It is a tacit understanding that eating oysters in the months that lack the letter “r” in their names should be avoided. There are several reasons. Bacteria in water increases as the temperature of the water rises. Oyster prepares spawning when the temperature rises, and spawns in early summer. After spawning, oysters becomes thin and tasteless.
So, it was a surprise to find wild giant oysters, Iwagaki, sold as summer oyster at Ohmicho Food Market in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. Iwagaki (direct translation is “rock oyster”) inhabits the deep cold water of Japan Sea and becomes season in July through August. Iwagaki oyster is large. On oyster can reach to 8 inches long. At the market oysters were priced according to its size: 600 yen, 800 yen, 1000 yen, 1500 yen/per piece. At the fishmonger in the market where they shack oysters for immediate consumption, we tried one piece each. The inside oyster appeared from the shell was huge. The plump flesh was milky, briny and a bit astringent. It was a feast.