Everything You Need to Know About Oyster Season
Oyster season is in full swing! Enjoy this healthy and tasty dish by exploring its history and preparation, including how to shuck an oyster.
The taste of oysters varies by region. Crab Dynasty’s Chesapeake Bay oysters have a distinct, desirable flavor profile. Learn everything you need to know to enjoy Chesapeake Bay oysters during the oyster season and year-round!
When Are Oysters In Season?
The popular tradition of only eating wild oysters in months with the letter “r” – from September to April – dates back at least 4,000 years. Wild oysters reproduce in the summer, making them softer; they are not harvested in the summer to allow for repopulation. In addition to avoiding watery shellfish and reducing the oyster population, consuming wild oysters during colder months lowers the risk of foodborne illness.
Order from Crab Dynasty and rest assured you’re getting oysters from a trusted source — regardless of the time of year you’re consuming them. Please note that consuming raw or undercooked animal foods, including oysters, may increase your risk of contracting a foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions.
Are Oysters Good For You?
Oysters typically possess a delicate, toothy texture with rich flavor and a salty aftertaste. Oysters are high in calcium, iron, and protein, making them a nutritious and delicious food for the adventurous eater or seafood lover.
Oysters offer vitamin B12, which promotes healthy brain activity. Oysters are also a rich source of vitamin D, copper, zinc, and manganese. These micronutrients help fight against osteoporosis.
How Do You Shuck an Oyster?
The first step to shucking an oyster is to rinse it in cold water, picking off the dirt and sand. Place the oysters in a saltwater bath and refrigerate them for 1 hour to purge sand. Line your non-dominant hand with a folded dish towel and use it to grasp the oyster by its wider side (the front) so that its hinge is pointing out. Anchor your oyster hand to the kitchen counter as you stick the point of your oyster knife into the hinge. Wiggle a bit to find an opening, then push the knife inwards and turn it like a key. Once you hear a pop, run the knife along the edges of the open shell and remove the top. Run the knife under the flesh to disconnect it from the bottom. Remove any loose shell, place the oyster in the half shell on ice, and move on to the next.
Add an oyster shucking knife to your next Crab Dynasty order to make it easy to open clams and oysters.
How Do You Eat Oysters?
You can eat fresh oysters in many ways: raw, steamed, boiled, baked, fried, and stuffed. You can also add oysters to stews and chowders. Below is a breakdown of how to cook oysters in some of the most popular ways:
How to steam oysters: Fill a pot with about 1⁄4 inch of water. Bring the water to a boil and add oysters. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook until they open (3 to 10 minutes).
How to grill oysters: Place oysters directly on a medium-hot grill and close the lid. Cook until the oysters open (3 to 10 minutes).
How to bake oysters: Preheat the oven to 400°F and place on a baking sheet. Lay aluminum foil on the sheet and place oysters on the foil. Fold the foil to make a tent so the steam collects and cooks them until the shells are open.
How to fry oysters: heat oil to 375°F in a fryer or deep-set frying pan. Coat oysters in the breading of your choice and place each in the oil, flipping until they become golden brown (usually 1 to 2 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, remove the oysters from the fryer and place them on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
What Sets Chesapeake Bay Oysters Apart?
The taste profiles of Chesapeake Bay oysters set them apart from oysters from other regions in the US. Chesapeake oysters are sweet and creamy, with a lower salinity than northern oysters. Chesapeake Bay oysters are wonderfully balanced. The sweetness comes from all the rivers that flow into the bay.
Chesapeake Bay oysters have a long history. In the 1870s, the oyster industry in the region employed 30,000 people with gross revenues of $50 million a year. The Chesapeake Bay produced most of the country’s oysters until the early 1900s when the bay’s oyster population plummeted from overharvesting. Luckily, farmers and scientists – including the Army Corps of Marines – have repopulated the Chesapeake’s oyster reefs resulting in better harvests and a renewed culinary interest in Chesapeake Bay oysters.
Experience the unique taste profile of Chesapeake oysters – enjoy Crab Dynasty’s Chesapeake Bay oysters during the oyster season and all year by purchasing Crab Dynasty’s freshly shucked oysters. Shucked oysters can be frozen and defrosted later to enjoy year-round. Freezing does change the texture and flavor of oysters, so it’s best to cook them thoroughly after defrosting them in the refrigerator.