Oysters

Oysters are best eaten in the winter because when they are spawning in the summer months, their meat becomes soft and pappy. Oysters are so popular throughout the world, there are oyster farms that grow them (ostreaculture). To harvest wild oysters, they can be found attached to rocks but also in similar places to where cockles are found. Pick only what you plan on eating, give them a good wash and scrub their shells, then prize open their shells ideally with an oyster knife – BE CAREFUL NOT TO SLICE OPEN YOUR HAND!!! Once you’ve opened the shell, loosen the meat and either eat it raw, with a squeeze of lemon juice or vinegar and diced shallots, cook them by pan frying, adding to soups, stews, etc or deep fried as “Po’ boys”. I prefer them simply pan fried as they are delicious and sweet – as good as cockles or scallops. If you are hoping for a pearl in your oyster shell, you are unlikely to find one as pearls come from a different family of oyster (pteriidae family) which live in deep oceans. Make sure you gather your oysters (and all your shellfish) from a clean source – food poisoning from shellfish is pretty horrible!