Buying Oysters


How many Oysters to Buy
John McCabe

The quantity of oysters one chooses to buy is usually based on how the oysters will end up being consumed in the short term (raw or as part of a recipe) and how many people will partake in the ultimate feast. For raw oysters served on the half shell, the rule of thumb is anywhere from six to twelve small oysters per person. Nicely formed shells simplify opening and enhance the slurping experience. If the oysters are to be served "in the raw", then one should stick to the proverbial "r-months" (September though April), as they are considered the preferred months for slurping oysters. This is an old rule and a wise one at that for quite a number of reasons.

The quantity of oysters needed for a cooked meal is dictated by the respective recipe. The proverbial "r-months" are irrelevant in terms of cooked oysters. Any time of the year is favorable. If buying live oysters in the shell for cooking, the shape of the shell is also not important. However, saving some of nicely shaped shells is recommended, as they can be washed (boiled) and reused for serving many kinds of oyster dishes at a later date. What does a nicely shaped oyster shell worthy of saving for future cooking adventures look like? The bottom (cupped) shell half of an Eastern or Pacific oyster should have no broken edges, be more or less oval, and - best of all - be able to sit on a plate fairly level on its own without the need to be propped up by rock salt, crushed ice, or bunched up aluminum foil.

* 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.

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