Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Wondering how to create a special meal for your loved one that will be remembered for years to come? When people think of romantic foods, many think of oysters, but this food group can be a bit intimidating for some. We are here to break down some oysterology so you feel more educated about them and encourage you to give them a taste.
Let’s start by saying that oysters are a rich source of protein, omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins (especially B12), vitamin A, vitamin D, folate, vitamin E, selenium, and zinc (which is known to boost immune health). These micronutrients, in combination with calcium, are thought to be key to slowing or even preventing bone loss in older women due to osteoporosis. Additionally, dietary sources of these minerals are thought to be more effective than supplements. Do you need a better reason to add them to your meal plan?
Let’s discuss how long oysters stay fresh? A fresh oyster is alive, has ample liquor, and maintains its aroma and flavor from harvest. Generally, oysters maintain their “freshness” for up to 14 days.
For more detailed information regarding how long oysters stay fresh, visit:
How to choose what type of oyster to buy
Here are a few of the most popular groups of oysters.
- Pacific oysters are small and sweet and the world’s most cultivated oyster. Pacifics have a distinctly more fluted, sharply pointed shell than Atlantics or European flats.
- Kumamotos are small, sweet, almost nutty oysters characterized by their deep, almost bowl-shaped shell. Like Pacifics, they have deeply fluted, sharp, pointy shells.
- Atlantic oysters- Many people are surprised to learn that Bluepoints, Wellfleets and Malpeques are all Crassostrea virginicas, as are some 85% of oysters harvested in the U.S., including most of those in the Gulf of Mexico. True bluepoints are raised in Long Island’s Great South Bay where they were first found. Today, “bluepoint oyster” is often used as a general term for any Atlantic oyster served on the half-shell, i.e. “New Jersey bluepoints” and “Virginia bluepoints”.
- European Flats- European flats are characterized by their smooth flat shell and lovely seaweed and sharp mineral taste. They have a meaty texture and, for those used to different kinds of oysters, almost a crunch to them.
- Olympia Oysters- Olympias make the tiny Kumamotos look like giants, often coming in about the size of a quarter. Olympias are sweet, coppery, and metallic.
For more information about the different varieties, visit:
So, if you’ve always wanted to give oysters a try, but have felt overwhelmed by choosing the best type for you or how to handle them, we hope this encourages you to step outside of your comfort zone. The fun of it is also trying something new and figuring out what YOUR favorite is!