If you ever find yourself in San Francisco with a car—or in my case, with a friend who has a car—it is imperative to make an excursion to Marshall, stat. There, you will find Hog Island Oyster Farm, which I like to dub oyster paradise.
For around a dollar per oyster and a mere five dollar picnic fee, I had the freshest oysters I’ve ever tasted. The picnic fee reserves you a spot on the picnic area (complete with BBQ grills) and includes a shucking knife, hot sauce, lemon wedges and “Hogwash,” which is their own version of Mignonette.
Since I went with a veteran of Hog Island, we were doubly prepared. Before heading over, we stopped at Whole Foods to pick up butter, garlic, charcoal, baguette and drinks to make a complete meal.
First we mixed butter with minced garlic to create the compound butter. Then we shucked all the oysters, top it with a dollop of garlic butter and set it on the grill. Once the butter melts and starts mingling with the bubbling oyster liquor, we took it off the grill immediately. The oysters should still be rare at this point. All they need then is a squeeze of lemon and we were set.
Now, you may think it blasphemous to cook oysters when they’re that fresh, but after having it both raw and slightly cooked, I’m partial to the latter. The meat firms up just a touch and the liquor becomes more sweeter and pronounced as it cooks. Not to mention the melted garlic butter! This is where the bread comes in as it becomes a sponge vehicle to soak up that unbelievable oyster-butter mixture.
Slurp and repeat as neccessary.
Hog Island Oyster Farm
20215 Highway 1
Marshall, CA 94940
Phone: (415) 663-9218