WHAT IS AN OYSTER?
It’s a salt water bivalve mollusc that is often asymmetrical in shape and delicious. They feed by sucking water through their gills and eating the particles of plankton trapped there. Oysters play a critical role in their local ecosystem with a single mollusc filtering up to 50 gallons of water a day. However the oyster that you actually eat has little to none of the original seawater left. Prior to being served, the mollusc is placed in a clean water tank for 2 to 3 days to flush out any fecal contamination with clean water.
WHERE DO OYSTERS COME FROM?
Scientists found the remains of an oyster dinner dating over 164,000 years ago in the caves of South Africa. Ironically the oyster was from a specific type of barnacle that grows only on the sides of whales.
WHEN IS AN OYSTER IN SEASON?
In the northern hemisphere the warmer months of May, June, July and August do not contain the letter “R”. Also in the summer months oysters are spawning which gives their flesh a weak, diluted flavor. In general the oyster tastes much better when harvested in cold, winter water.
WHAT PAIRS BEST WITH A FRESH OYSTER?
For the French it is Champagne, and the Irish beer but for the Americans hard alcohol is their tasty beverage of choice. The N.Y.C. Brooklyn restaurant Maison Premiere has become famous for their unique pairing of absinthe and oysters!
ARE OYSTERS HEALTHY TO EAT?
In areas with clean water the oyster is a healthy option. Eaten raw, they are low in fat and calories. And they’re rich in protein, vitamins A,C,E and minerals iron, calcium, zinc and selenium.