On Buying Oysters
Although oysters are edible and very affordable all year, most
oysters grown in Europe and North America are traditionally purchased
around Christmas and New Years. Additionally, Thanksgiving is
an oyster biggie in the United States. No turkey dinner is complete
without oyster stuffing.
Oysters are sold to the public in a number of ways.
Canned oysters can be found in just about any well stocked grocery
store across North America. Some stores also carry tasty smoked
oysters in vacuum packs. Buying these oysters is pretty straight
forward. The only consideration I can think of is perhaps to
look on the label and see what country they came from. I avoid
buying any oysters, canned or otherwise, which did not come from
American or Canadian waters. I know the many food safety hoops
American and Canadian growers constantly have to jump through
before they can sell their wares. Although I recognize that Chinese
shellfish growers also work very hard and produce (by far) the
most oysters in the world, I don't know how broad and strictly
enforced their marine food safety standards are or what kind
of water these oysters have been filtering.
After reading a number of news articles like this one I've made my decision: No thanks.
I'll pass. Aside from that I'd much rather like to see the hard
working American and Canadian oystermen make a buck - even if
I have to pay a little more. I've met a bunch of them in my time.
Never once did I meet one that did not work very hard for every
penny he earned.
Shellfish cultivation in Western Europe is also highly regulated,
particularly since almost all the oysters harvested there are
consumed raw. Particularly France,
Great Britain and Ireland are well known producers of high
The following little reports deal mainly
with buying fresh oysters - particularly the ones in the shell:
* Fresh Oyster Types
* Looking over the
Seafood Display (and Who's behind it)
* LiFo (Last in, First
* How many Oysters
* Buying Oysters
on the Internet
|Health advisory: There is a risk associated with consuming raw oysters
or any raw animal protein. If you have chronic illness of the
liver, stomach, or blood or have immune disorders, you are at
greatest risk of illness from raw oysters and should eat oysters
fully cooked. If you are unsure of your risk, you should consult
Advisements on any errors discovered
are most welcome: Contact