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Grilled oysters.  | Davud Hammond

Grilled oysters. | Davud Hammond

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Updated: March 7, 2014 1:23PM

Shaw’s Crab House (21 E. Hubbard) shucks a huge selection of oysters. Many contain the species name “virginicus,” which means they’re originally from Virginia. Yet there rarely seem to be Virginia oysters on Shaw’s menu.

Oysters from Virginia are now planted in many locations . For the virginicus species, of course, environmental conditions are usually just right around Virginia.

Walking into the first Virginia Wine and Oyster Classic in Irvington, Va., I was greeted by Aaron Cross, chef at Fossett’s Restaurant in nearby Keswick who was grilling oysters. A big advantage to grilling oysters is that once cooked, they open up much more easily; they’re a little firmer and the oyster taste seems more pronounced. Grilling also reduces the squishiness of oysters that some find objectionable.

For grilling, you don’t need expensive oysters; we used a virginicus batch from Delaware ($15 a dozen) that we got at Dirk’s Fish & Gourmet Shop (2070 N. Clybourn).

1. Over a medium fire, lay oysters flat-side-up;

drape with rosemary and cover with foil.

2. Cook 3-5 minutes or until oysters sputter.

3. Shuck and eat. —David Hammond

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