Wikimedia Commons/Chris 73
It's not a close call. I'd rather eat oysters than philosophize about them. Still, if I can't eat oysters, philosophizing about their flavors, the best places to eat them, recounting near encounters with those difficult-to-find bivalves that got away (Belon) — then talking about oysters is the next best thing. Besides the tired "oysters are only safe to eat in months with the letter 'r' in their names" thing, the next subject most common to oysters is their function as alleged aphrodesiacs. The fact that they're hermaphrodites makes this all very ironic, but even so, the names of some oysters particularly add to the suggestiveness of their appearance.
Sure, you have to fully embrace your inner gutter gourmet to appreciate the risqué connotations of oysters with names like Canada Cups (a round, wild-harvested, three- to three and a half-inch oyster from Prince Edward Island), but considering names like the Naked Cowboy, and French Kiss, once you get started the blue connotations are not much of a stretch.
In the spirit of this list of the seven most inappropriate restaurant names, here's a list of the nine most inappropriate oyster names.
• French Kiss French Kiss oysters are from Neguac, New Brunswick, which also produces Beau Soleil oysters. The name of this one is pretty tame and self-explanatory, but it's a good primer for the rest of these off-color oysters. (Photo courtesy Flickr/Kathryn Yu)
• Hama Hama They may come from the Hama Hama River delta in Washington's Hood Canal, but that's not what they sound like. If you're too young to remember The Honeymooners, use your imagination.
• Fanny Bay As Rowan Jacobsen of The Oyster Guide notes of these oysters from British Columbia, "the town of Fanny Bay sits on Baynes Sound, but faced with a choice on an oyster list between a Baynes Sound and a Fanny Bay, which would you go for?" As for the connotations, I'm happy to, but need I really comment?
• Naked Cowboy Chris Quartuccio of Blue Island Oyster Company is the man who gets credit for this one. He named the wild-grown oysters he harvests from Long Island Sound after Manhattan's walking tourist-trap, the Naked Cowboy (who looks like the years have had some effect). Put on some clothes, dude.
• Tatamagouche The name of these long, skinny shoehorn-shaped oysters comes from a little fishing village on the Northumberland Straits in Nova Scotia. Forget the name of the village, and just think about the name. I once got slapped for offering a woman one of these. Look up 'ma gouche' on Google if you don't know what I'm talking about.
• Beavertail These oysters are from Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. I'm not touching the name of this one.