It’s National Oyster Day!
Yep – there is a day to celebrate oysters. You either hate or love these briny bivalve mollusks – and I love them! With over 100 species of oysters to choose from, more than 2 billion pounds of these tasty shellfish get eaten every year! The largest area of growth is in the Chesapeake Bay. Oyster farming goes all the way back to the Roman times in France and England. And according to the Romans, they are a great aphrodisiac. (BTW – new science shows evidence of an amino acid that triggers the sex hormones in humans. So this may be more than a myth!).
Full of vitamins and minerals, the raw oyster packs the biggest punch. The most important thing to remember is safety. They must be eaten or cooked alive. If the shell is slightly open and it does not close when you tap on it, trash it. How they taste and their texture is determined by where they are grown. The range from sweet to briny to buttery – and gooey to chewy. And, I may be a little biased, but I think the huge Pacific Oysters are the best! A sweet but briny flavor and just enough chew for a good mouth feel. The Olympia oysters of Puget Sound run a real close second. But mind you, this is just my opinion. The smaller, sweeter East coast mollusks have their own following!
They oysters bred for eating don’t produce pearls – and the ones that do only produce one in about 10,000 oysters.
So how do you cook them? Well, if you like them raw, just shuck them and serve with lemon and seafood cocktail. But if you prefer them cooked, check out the recipes below – and feel free to share your own oyster recipes too!
Shop Amazon for some great oyster stuff!