I’d never been a fan of raw oysters, but as of a couple of weeks ago, I’m a convert. My epiphany is courtesy of picking up my delivery of fresh oysters at the restaurant as a member of the Oyster Club at Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar.
Oh, I’d had pleasant-enough experiences with raw oysters in the past, most recently at some wine-pairing dinners. But I’d never had the wow factor take over my taste buds the way it did with the Emersum Oysters from Jax (“Emersum” as in “‘em are some” good oysters!). They are a proprietary oyster for the eatery.
And not being an oyster fan, I hadn’t paid much attention to their potential nutrition benefits. Turns out they can be good for you. A half-dozen medium oysters have less than 1.5 grams of fat and contain a whopping 5 grams of protein. They’re rich in minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. All of these things will keep you strong — and keep your immune system charged. And you barely have to chew them to knock back their nutrients. Plus you don’t have to feel guilty about enjoying them: a half-dozen on the half shell is about 45 calories.
So, with this newfound information, I wanted to know more about these special-to-Jax oysters. Dave Query, founder of Big Red F and owner of several Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar locations, told the story of a fellow who dropped by his restaurant in Boulder in early 2000, dragging a cooler full of oysters.
“He asked if I’d like to taste some oysters,” Query said. “I was skeptical but willing to try his product and hear his story.”
At that point, Query had been running a very successful seafood eatery since 1994. He was well-versed in all things from the waters. The oyster peddler was a member of the family that had started Rappahannock River Oysters, which got it start in the Chesapeake Bay area of Virginia in 1899. The business had closed in the 1990s, but then was resurrected by cousins Ryan and Travis Croxton in 2001.
“When I tasted the oysters and heard the story of how they have turned around the sustainability in oyster-growing practices in the bay, I was interested in partnering with them,” Query said. “We know for certain the Emersum is the freshest bivalve this side of either coast.”
I can attest to the fantastic flavor of these oysters. Query also knows they will be consistent in size, texture and liquor, and the juice remaining in the shell will be mild. I can agree with that too.
And I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I can eat the mollusks straight up, no cocktail sauce required.
Oh, and another thing going for them — oysters are known as aphrodisiacs. With Valentine’s Day coming up Feb. 14, you might want to bring your date to the Oyster Bar and see what happens. The restaurant serves the same oysters it delivers to its club members.
To join the club visit jaxfish house.com/oyster-club. As a member, you will have access to a variety of oysters farmed and harvested from coast to coast.