For the love of seafood and everything that’s rich, it’s Oysters Rockefeller Day! This dish offers a tasty alternative to average seafood dishes, richly covered in sauce and baked to deliciousness. It’s not necessarily a dish to eat every day, but is best when enjoyed on special occasions.
Oysters Rockefeller Day is certainly a reason to celebrate!
History of National Oysters Rockefeller Day
Oysters Rockefeller is a dish that was created in 1889 in the city of New Orleans. It was developed when Jules Alciatore, son of founder Antoine Alciatore, was looking for a solution to the shortage of escargot. The restaurant had been specializing in dishes made with snails, but the lack of scarcity of these brought about the need to be creative with other types of seafood.
The result was this dish where oysters on the half shell are topped with a rich sauce made of butter, green herbs and breadcrumbs. Then the dish is baked or broiled and finally served with lemon wedges as a garnish. The sauce has sometimes been made with spinach, lending its color to the dish’s traditional rich green.
As most people would guess, Oysters Rockefeller was named after the New York mogul who was the richest man in America and the world’s first billionaire. No one really knows if John D. Rockefeller ever even tried the dish, but it was named after him because of the fact that Oysters Rockefeller is also extremely rich. And perhaps the green color inspired the name in its association with dollar bills.
First celebrated in 2017 in New Orleans at the iconic Antoine’s Restaurant where the dish first got its start, Oysters Rockefeller Day was founded to pay honor and respect to this delicious and unique seafood dish.
How to Celebrate National Oysters Rockefeller Day
Get involved with Oysters Rockefeller Day by celebrating using some of these interesting ideas:
Enjoy Oysters Rockefeller
The obvious choice for celebrating Oysters Rockefeller Day is to eat a delicious serving of this dish. Those who have never tried it might want to head out to a seafood restaurant that serves Oysters Rockefeller and order it off the menu. Some other restaurants might even be serving the dish as a special part of celebrating the day.
For those who aren’t sure about how to eat them, Oysters Rockefeller is eaten with a small fork because they are cooked. Raw oysters, on the other hand, are eaten without a fork, simply by sliding them into the mouth.
Try Making Oysters Rockefeller Center at Home
In the case that there are no nearby restaurants that serve this seafood dish, or simply because it might be fun to try something new in the kitchen, celebrate Oysters Rockefeller Day by trying to make them at home. Source some oysters from a local seafood shop and then find a recipe on the internet.
The list of ingredients needed for making Oysters Rockefeller is fairly simple. Onion, butter, spinach, Romano cheese, lemon juice, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Mix melted butter with the rest of the ingredients and make into a sauce. Pour onto the top of oysters on the half shell and bake or broil, then serve with a lemon wedge. It’s a delicious way to celebrate the day!
Learn Fun Facts About Oysters
One delightful way to celebrate Oysters Rockefeller Day might be to learn just a bit of interesting trivia that can be brought up in conversation about the day. Try out some of pieces of information for sharing on the day:
Oysters can change their gender. In a unique biological situation, all oysters start their lives as males, but the sea creatures switch genders to female as they grow larger. Sometimes they can even be both genders at the same time!
Oysters act as water filters. Oysters filter water through their gills and, at the same time, consume food (like plankton). They help to maintain the balance of their ecosystem by reducing excess sediment and algae that can lead to low oxygen levels. This can help to preserve marine life.
Oysters are flavored by their environment. Even oysters of the same species can have different flavors, based on the fact that they filter a great deal of water. This means that they pick up the flavor of the salt and nutrients in their environment.
Oysters are nutritious. This seafood contains a great deal of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Iron, Magnesium, Copper and more.
Head to Antoine’s in New Orleans
One perfect place to spend Oysters Rockefeller Day is to head on over to New Orleans, Louisiana, where Antoine’s restaurant is located. Still owned and operated by the fifth generation of relatives of Antoine Alciatore, this is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in New Orleans and, of course, it is where Oysters Rockefeller got their start. So order them up and enjoy!
While hanging out in the Big Easy and listening to some incredible Jazz music, perhaps take advantage of some other local sites. For instance, spend time visiting the French Quarter along the Mississippi River and the Quarter’s most famous street, Bourbon Street. Jackson Square, Preservation Hall and and the St. Louis Cathedral are other fun places to visit while celebrating Oysters Rockefeller Day in the city of New Orleans.
Visit New York City’s Rockefeller Center
Although Oysters Rockefeller really has no official connection to New York, it is still the place where John D. Rockefeller made his millions. Head over to New York City’s famous cultural landmark, Rockefeller Center, which is a 22 acre complex covering three city blocks in Midtown that is filled with community and culture.
Historic art, iconic architecture, indoor and outdoor observation decks, amazing skyline views, the Rainbow Room and more. In the winter time it might be fun to head over to the ice skating rink. And, of course, a visit to Radio City Music Hall or the NBC Studios offers access to incredible entertainment opportunities.