Also called Eastern or East Coast oyster, this species has a thick, elongated shell that measures from two to five inches at its widest point. There are dozens of regional varieties, and most get their distinctive names based on the region. The most well-known is the ubiquitous Bluepoint oyster (originally named for an area on the southern shore of Long Island, but this has become a generic name for Atlantic oysters); there are dozens more, including Malpeque, Kent Island and Fisher Island oysters. Even though they are called Atlantic oysters, they are caught wild from Newfoundland to Colombia and in Europe, as well as on Florida’s Gulf Coast, in Australia, Chile, Japan and New Zealand. They are also farmed along the Atlantic coast of the U.S.

The taste and texture of oysters depends more on the area they are grown in than the species to which they belong, much like wine. Oysters are ideal for serving on the half shell, but can be found cured or canned.

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