I'm not sure who first decided to smoke an oyster or why, but it sure was a good idea. The texture of a smoked oyster is nothing like a raw oyster. It's firm yet still creamy, sweet and addictive to eat as candy.
The little ones that come in the can are often used as appetizers. Despite being labeled "colossal" they are anything but. They taste a bit like the oil they are packed in. While the canned ones are ok, they are impossible to go back to after eating fresh ones from the Pacific Northwest.
These oysters are actual size!
Recently I agreed to judge a contest and received a shipment of deluxe seafood to help me "prepare." I got two fresh steamed crabs, shrimp, smoked salmon and the most plump, sweet smoked oysters I had ever tried. While I had no problem coming up with ideas for using all of the other seafood, I was a bit stumped by the oysters.
These oysters were way too large to languish on a cracker or a piece of toast. Instead I stuffed them into a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. The applewood smoked bacon really went well with the oysters. It provided nice crunchy chewy contrast but also sweet and salty notes. I know iceberg lettuce is terribly retro, but it really is the right choice for this sandwich. It provides crunch and juiciness without competing with all the other flavors. If you travel to Oregon, there are plenty of wonderful places to find fresh seafood, raw, cooked or smoked. My luscious oysters came from Bell Buoy of Seaside.
Smoked Oyster BLT
1 roll or ciabatta bread
2 slices bacon, cooked
1 tomato, sliced
5-6 fresh smoked oysters, not canned
Slice the bread and hollow out any excess to make plenty of room for the fillings. Spread the bread with mayonnaise, layer on the slices of tomato, oysters, bacon and lettuce.