There’s almost nothing better than digging into a raw seafood bar or buffet. But, while everyone loves slurping down a fresh delicious oyster, no one wants to be the unlucky person that gets a bad oyster. This helpful guide will give you the know-how needed to shop for raw oysters and know what to avoid.
Know Your Farm
The first step to getting a good oyster is to buy from a farm your trust. Oysters are extremely perishable and how they are shipped can greatly affect the quality. As well, you want oysters that are grown in healthy waters by experienced growers. To see more about how we ship our oysters or learn about our growing methods, click here.
Never Buy From a Tank
If you’re shopping for oysters in person, it’s critical to never buy oysters that are stored in a tank. Oysters are filter feeders and a lot of their flavor is stored in the liquor within their shells. Oysters that are kept in a tank are being flushed of their natural flavors and covered, in essence, by potentially unsanitary tank water.
Just like any other fresh seafood, your oysters should have a clean smell. A healthy oyster will have a neutral, mineral smell. If the oyster smells funky or unpleasant, don’t eat it.
Healthy oysters should have clean shells that don’t look dingy. They should also be intact. If the oyster’s shell is broken or open, it’s not safe to eat. Healthy oysters grown at quality farms will have crisply colored, moist-looking shells.
On Time & Fresh
High-quality oysters should be as fresh as possible. Ask your clerk how long they’ve had their oysters before purchasing. While oysters can keep for a week or more under the right conditions, you’re better served getting the freshest oysters possible.
If in doubt, shop somewhere else! We take pride in growing healthy, meaty oysters that can be delivered fresh to your door. For recipes or more tips and tricks, visit our blog.