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
|#1 Seaside||28-32||9||3||3||Initial bold saltiness mellowing into a taste of sweet butter/cream at the finish.|
|#2 Upper Bay Eastern Shore||16-18||5||1||3||Classic Virginia bay oyster flavor with balanced salt and sweet with a savory finish.|
|#3 Lower Bay Eastern Shore||18-22||7||3||3||Salty and Creamy with mellow sweetness and a quick finish.|
|#4 Upper Bay Western Shore||10-17||5||2||2||Sweetwater oyster with a light cream taste.|
|#5 Middle Bay Western Shore||16-18||5||3||3||Lightly salty with easily distinguished cream or butter and a pleasant slight minerality.|
|#6 Lower Bay Western Shore||16-18||5||2||2||Mild saltiness moving to a sweet finish.|
|#7 Tidewater||16-30||8||2||2||Salty oyster with a sweetness and a smooth finish.|
|#8 Tangier/Middle Chesapeake Bay||16-18||5||5||4||Traditional Virginia Bay Oyster flavor with a balance of salt and sweet, and a savory butter/cream finish.|