How Environment Impacts Flavor

Did you know that where and how oysters and clams are raised affects their flavor? Indeed, the taste of oysters and clams is greatly influenced by where they live. It makes sense. These creatures of the sea live in ocean water 24/7 a day, filtering up to 50 gallons of water a day, so how could the flavor not be impacted? It’s this very sea-essence that allows oyster and clam enthusiasts to detect subtle hints of flavor depending on which environment the products were harvested from, and even when.

In a nutshell, when you eat an oyster or clam, you’re eating what they ate – for better or worse. Season also influences taste. Some oysters, for example, may taste sweet and briny in fall, yet thin and salty in summer after spawning.

Many times, oysters and clams taste the sweetest in the middle of winter when nourished with glycogen and glycine, which they horde to prepare for dormancy.

Influences of Location

The taste of oysters and clams is certainly influenced by where these creatures lived. For example, an oyster that lived near the entrance to a bay will taste brinier, due to the strong impact from seawater. One that lived further up a narrow inlet will taste more mineral-like or even metallic, due to the larger influence of land over the sea.

Let’s talk about some oyster examples.

  • Sydney Rock Oysters: AKA “Auckland Oysters” or “New Zealand Oysters,” these oysters grow in the Oceania region and are mildly sweet featuring metallic undertones.
  • Pacific Oysters: The most sought-after oyster, Pacific Oysters feature a sweet taste with a rich, delicate, buttery softness.
  • Atlantic Oysters: Also known as “Eastern Oysters,” Atlantic oysters are mostly harvested in the U.S., and have chewy meat with a salty, briny flavor.
  • European Flats: These grow in European coastal regions, with a bold, salty brininess and slight crunch.
  • Kumamoto Oysters: These are very tasty oysters, with a sweet, melon-y, creamy meat.
  • Olympia Oysters: Originally hailing from the West Coast, these small, fragile oysters are mildly sweet, coppery, and crisp.
  • Sewansecott brand clams: These are farm-raised in the ocean-filtered Atlantic waters of Hog Island Bay, VA, with a fresh and tender taste and the perfect balance of salty, sweet flavor. These also happen to be the clams and oysters we cultivate and sell here at HM Terry Co.

To wrap up, whenever you eat an oyster or clam, you’re eating a place from a particular moment in time in a particular part of the water within a particular foot column of water.

Contact HM Terry Co. For Fresh Sewansecott Oysters and Clams

We are big believers that environment dictates taste. That’s why you will always get the most robust flavors from our oysters and clams, which are harvested only from the ocean-filtered Atlantic waters of Hog Island Bay, VA. Call us at 757-442-7006 to order your seafood from H.M. Terry Co. today and taste the difference.