We all know that farmed oysters are good year-round, but the traditional prime oyster season is just about to start. We’ve been welcoming bunches of White Stone first-timers recently and wanted to take a moment to pass along some advice to help you avoid some of the most common oyster mistakes.
Buying Oysters From Anywhere
We might be a little biased, but we think it’s important to enjoy a quality oyster when you’re in the mood for a shuck. Local farms like ours treat oysters safely and with care. All bivalves need to be kept cold and alive up until the moment they are cooked or consumed. Paying attention to where you’re getting your oysters from will help spare your stomach from a bad experience.
Not Hanging with the Locals
Oyster flavors or merroir, vary dramatically by region, farming method, and water conditions. If you’re traveling, we highly recommend trying the local oyster whenever possible. It’s a great way to explore different varieties and see which you like the best.
Oysters need certain conditions to stay as fresh as possible when stored. You want to be careful not to let your oysters dry out, which is why a damp towel is important. If you’re storing oysters on ice, make sure they don’t sit in freshwater. Stored properly, your oysters should keep for up to 10 days.
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Pouring Out the Liquor
When you shuck a fresh oyster, there will be a small pool of water left in the cup of the shell. This is the oyster’s liquor and is an important part of the raw oyster experience. It adds flavor to the oyster and can be added to soups and chowders. When you’re slurping a raw oyster, leave it in the liquor for the full flavorful experience.
Shucking Ahead of Time
Oysters are best when they’re at their freshest. While it may be tempting to shuck oysters ahead of time for a party, you’re doing the oysters and your guests a disservice. If shucked too early the oysters will dry out, start to spoil, and can attract debris. Instead, shuck to order if possible. Don’t forget, if an oyster is already open or the shell is cracked before shucking, throw it out.