Oysters are one of the most decadent dishes you can serve on New Year’s Eve, but I think they’re terrific year-round. After buying live oysters from your market, be sure to scrub them well under running water before serving. Fresh oysters keep about 5 days in the refrigerator, covered in a damp towel or cloth.
Enjoy oysters fresh on their own, or try cooking them in recipes like oyster stew, smoked oysters or Oysters Rockefeller.
How to eat oysters
- Basically, you find a good lip, then slurp the brine and oyster in one go. Take a couple of bites to pick up on texture and flavor.
- When eating oysters, a fresh squeeze of lemon or a couple drops of Tabasco is all you need, but many restaurants offer sides like cocktail sauce, shaved horseradish or shallot mignonette sauce as accompaniments.
- If you’re going to buy oysters from your local market, steer clear of those jarred versions. You want them fresh and tightly closed, and of course you’ll need a good oyster knife.
- Oysters have about 7 calories each and are rich in protein, vitamin A, B1, B2, C and D. It’s said that Casanova ate them every day. It’s fitting that these make the perfect start for a romantic dinner.
Types of Oysters
Here in Southern California, some of the best places to eat live oysters are at King’s Fish House, Bluewater Grill, Water Grill in Los Angeles, Santa Monica Seafood in Santa Monica/Newport Beach, and Quality Seafood in Redondo Beach. All get fresh oysters daily from around the world.
- Island Creek Oysters are amazing. This raw oyster has a briny, buttery flavor with a firm texture. It goes down great with a bottle of Samuel Adams!
- The Carlsbad Blondes are a sweet and briny aquaculture from a Carlsbad oyster farm. You can often find them locally at Farmer’s Markets.
- Quilcene Bay Oysters come from the Hood Canal in Dubab Bay, Washington. These fresh oysters come wild or cultivated, small or plump, but all have a clean mild flavor.
- The Skookum Oyster, found in Washington, is described as rich, earthy and musky due to their environment in the mossy mudflats of Little Skookum Inlet.
- The most common oyster you’ll find these days is the Malpeque oyster, known for its sweet and clean, yet briny flavor.
- Other common oysters are the Connecticut blue point oysters, a favorite since the early 1800s. These are characterized by their firm and crisp texture, with a sweet and salty finish.
- The kumamoto oysters are probably one of the sweetest and most enjoyable. Found in California, Oregon, Washington and Mexico, the kumamoto oyster has a light, sweet melon flavor and creamy texture.
- Plump Hog Island oysters are famous for their smoky, yet sweet and salty flavor. Another great new variety is the Conway Cup oysters. These oysters are small and plump, with a sweet, clean and very mild saline flavor. If you have a chance to order some of these gems, please do. They are exquisite.
Oyster Facts (Video)
Watch this video on YouTube: Oyster Facts