Oysters have captured the imagination of the world for centuries.
They’ve been long recognized as a source of food and pearls and historically have been believed to have aphrodisiacal powers.
Any seafood lover worth his or her salt understands that the oyster is the world’s most beloved bi-valve.
Here are some fun facts about why the oyster has been peasant food and fancy cuisine since the days of Rome.
There are five main varieties of edible oysters:
Belons– Formerly native to European waters but they now grow in North America too. These rare oysters are salty and often metallic in taste.
Pacific– Also called gigas, these generally sweet and mild-flavored oysters are grown throughout the world.
Kumamoto– Originally from Japan but these smaller sweet-tasting oysters are now grown along the western coast of North America.
Olympia– These small, flavorful oysters are found in and around the Pacific Northwest.
Eastern– These varieties including Bluepoints, Malpaques and Wellfleets grow from the Canadian Maritimes down to the Gulf of Mexico.
Depending upon the water in which they grew, oysters can taste sweet, salty, buttery or coppery.
Some people enjoy their oysters raw on the half shell, others choose to bake, fry, broil or stew them.
Some prefer their oysters with a dash of lemon juice or a mixture of wine, shallots, vinegar and pepper or a splash of cocktail sauce.
There is no wrong way to enjoy your oysters.
When choosing oysters, you’ll want them to be as fresh as possible–as in alive. They should be tightly shut or should close when lightly tapped.
Oysters that remain open or that smell bad are dead and should be discarded.
If you’re transporting live oysters home to be enjoyed, you’ll need to wrap them loosely in a damp cloth and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to consume them. They should be eaten within a day or so.
Whether you’re a novice or experienced seafood lover, oysters are a delicacy worth trying.
Come to Atlantic Seafood for your Old Saybrook seafood and oysters straight from the ocean.