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Regional Flavors

Use this regional flavor guide for Virginia Aquaculture Oysters to choose just the right oyster for the occasion.

The table below expresses the salinity of the growing region, as well as providing a scale rating for saltiness, sweetness, and buttery/creaminess.

1-2 : Barely Perceptible
3-4 : Slightly
5-6 : Moderate
7-8 : Very Noticeable
9 : Strong

RegionSalinity RangeSaltinessButtery/CreamySweetnessComments
#1 Seaside28-32933Initial bold saltiness mellowing into a taste of sweet butter/cream at the finish.
#2 Upper Bay Eastern Shore16-18513Classic Virginia bay oyster flavor with balanced salt and sweet with a savory finish.
#3 Lower Bay Eastern Shore18-22733Salty and Creamy with mellow sweetness and a quick finish.
#4 Upper Bay Western Shore10-17522Sweetwater oyster with a light cream taste.
#5 Middle Bay Western Shore16-18533Lightly salty with easily distinguished cream or butter and a pleasant slight minerality.
#6 Lower Bay Western Shore16-18522Mild saltiness moving to a sweet finish.
#7 Tidewater16-30822Salty oyster with a sweetness and a smooth finish.
#8 Tangier/Middle Chesapeake Bay16-18554Traditional Virginia Bay Oyster flavor with a balance of salt and sweet, and a savory butter/cream finish.



Download: A Guide to the Flavors of Virginia Oysters