ISSUE 42  |  West Marin and Beyond

Required Reading: Oyster Culture in Tomales Bay

October 16, 2012 6:30 PM

BY Sarah Lonsdale

Spotted on the shelves of Saltwater Oyster Depot in Inverness: Oyster Culture, written and photographed by West Marin local Gwendolyn Meyer and edited by Doreen Schmid.

The book is a charming look at the history of Tomales Bay and the art of oyster farming, with insights into each of the companies that farm along the water. Meyer, who has a culinary background that includes a stint at the prestigious Post Ranch Inn, offers explanations on how to prepare oysters with recipes on how to enjoy them. Oyster Culture is available online for $19.95 from Cameron and Company; or better still, pick one up at Saltwater.

Photography by Gwendolyn Meyer, except where noted.

Above: A look at West Marin through it's oyster culture. Photograph by Mimi Giboin for Remodelista.

Above L: A selection of oyster accompaniments (our favorite is the Zesty Horseradish Sauce credited to The Oyster Girls, and featured in the book). Above R: A selection of local oysters.

Above: Bags of oyster seeds visible at low tide in Tomales Bay.

Zesty Horseradish Sauce, from The Oyster Girls

Use fresh-grated horseradish if you can find it in your produce store for this colorful, refreshing sauce with a spicy kick. Makes enough for two dozen oysters

• 1 tablespoon fresh horseradish root, peeled, rinsed, and grated (or 1 teaspoon store-bought horseradish)
• ¼ cup freshly juiced beet juice from washed and peeled beet
• 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar

Mix beet and lemon juice with rice vinegar in a small bowl. Mix in horseradish. Keep chilled and airtight until ready to serve. Keeps for up to one week. Serve with oysters on the half shell.