Buying Oysters


LiFo (Last in, First out) Shopping
John McCabe

When buying oysters (or any kind of other seafood for that matter), it is best to buy them last, after all the other shopping is done, and get them home. Likewise, once the groceries reach your home, take care of the oysters (and whatever other seafood) first. Free the shell stock oysters from the plastic bag they are in and stack them (!), belly part down (of course), in the bottom crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Get a clean dish towel, moisten it with some cold, fresh water, and drape it over the oysters. Don't add salt, water, ice or anything else to the oysters in the crisper. Keep all the different types of seafood you may have purchased separated from each other. Truly fresh oysters in the shell will usually survive at least four days. Although I've heard and read of claims that they will live up to ten days, I think it is nonsense to attempt to keep oysters that long. Anybody intending to keep oysters that long is better off buying them five days later instead. Knowing approximately when the oysters are to be consumed is certainly a prudent consideration before buying them in the first place. Any "gapers" (described here) that don't close on their own when handled should be discarded at once.

Pointer: Once the oysters have been consumed and the crisper drawer is empty, be sure to take it out and wash and dry it thoroughly before reusing it for more food. That goes for any kind of seafood incidentally. While we're on the topic: Every shell stock oyster should be thoroughly scrubbed with a common nylon pot scrubber before the oyster is opened - particularly in the pointed hinge area. Any cutting board (particularly the wooden ones!) used to process the oysters (or any other kind of seafood or fresh meats) should afterwards be thoroughly washed with a water/bleach solution (2 parts water and 1 part bleach) before reusing it again. The same applies to any other wooden kitchen utensil used.

Another pointer: I have noticed that live oysters seem to fare better in the crisper drawer of my old beer and soda pop refrigerator (not frost free) out in the garage than in our frost free refrigerator in the kitchen. Frost free refrigerators have a way of sucking moisture out of food, particularly if it is not covered. I believe that stored oysters benefit from a non frost free (called "conventional") refrigeration environment.

 

* Intro
* Fresh Oyster Types
* Looking over the Seafood Display (and Who's behind it)
* LiFo (Last in, First out) Shopping
* How many Oysters to Buy
* Buying Oysters on the Internet

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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 your physician.

Advisements on any errors discovered are most welcome: Contact