Believe it or not, there are a few recommended steps on how to enjoy, eat, and taste a raw oyster. Yes, you can just chew it and slurp it down but to truly have an oyster euphoric experience, there is a formal 4-step procedure.
A few weeks back I got to listen in on a really great webinar from Taylor Shellfish Farms to the Food and Culinary Professionals group about shellfish farming. As an avid raw shellfish consumer and (soon to be) Registered Dietitian Nutritionist I was sometimes feeling uneasy about not knowing where our shellfish came from and if my obsession with raw oyster bars was possibly doing me in.
But, thankfully Taylor Shellfish Farms told me everything I needed to know about shellfish, farming practices, and most importantly how to enjoy an oyster.
How to Eat an Oyster
- Smell – the oyster should have a briny and fresh ocean water smell.
- Sip – typically an oyster served in its shell will have a little bit of seawater (brine) left inside. Sipping on the brine is suggested to cleanse the palate and prep your taste buds.
- Eat – it was highly suggested that you chew through your oyster (which I agree is best/delicious) so you can get the ‘flavor of the sea’. You also get to taste the oyster’s subtle sweetness.
- Pair – with a crisp, light glass of sauvignon blanc.
+ Raw Oyster Facts
-Fact: US regulations state that oysters harvested must be safe enough to be consumed raw. Yes, raw! You can’t get that with chicken or beef without rolling the dice but the bar for shellfish is so high that it should be safe to consume raw. The CDC also regulates that less than 1 illness per 100,000 servings of shellfish is acceptable. And for reference, chicken has about 1 illness every 25,000 servings. For food, these are some pretty strict standards!
-Myth: Only eat oysters in months that end in ‘r’. Have you heard this saying before? This used to be the rule for knowing when oysters were safe to eat because the summer months usually caused an increase in bacteria, which increased the risk for getting you sick. But have no fear, today farming practices have changed and have been perfected so much that they are safe to eat all year around!
-A single oyster can clean up to 120 liters of water a day, helping to keep the ecosystem tidy and in balance.
Still not a fan of raw shellfish? You can always BBQ the oysters in the shell! Yum.
My favorite oyster is the kumamoto oyster. Which oyster is your favorite?