"We can attest to Hog Island's oysters being delectably plump, thoroughly slurpable, and downright delicious."
Oysters are dastardly creatures. You think they're innocent—sitting there on their bed of ice waiting to be shucked and devoured—and then your finger slips and before you know it, you've got a gash so deep it needs stitches. Only you just got to the farm and you're hungry, and if the oysters think you're giving up, they can think again! You slap a bandage on your mutilated finger and keep going, but by then you're bleeding so profusely that no one wants to eat your iron-laced oysters. So you pass the shucking knife and glove to someone else.
And so it came to be that on that cloudy day at Tomales Bay, the boyfriend retired to the sick bench to ponder his injuries while I stepped up to the task of shucking oysters. Armed with a YouTube tutorial, a girlfriend and I rapidly shucked our way through six dozen oysters. For us two neophytes, oyster-shucking turned out to be relatively easy. As long as you're not foolish enough to abandon your gear and try to pry the stubborn ones open with your bare hands, no harm will come to you (we're just saying).
We had driven two hours from the South Bay—much of it along the justifiably famous Highway 1, with its stunning coastline views—to the Hog Island Oyster Farm. Our sole purpose was feasting on oysters, and that day there were Hog Island Kumamotos and Sweetwaters on offer. The smaller (easier to shuck), intensely creamy Kumamotos quickly emerged as the clear favorite, though the briney Sweetwaters with their long, smokey-sweet aftertaste were no laggards.