National Oyster Day is a celebration of this most versatile mollusc. Oyster is the common name for a number of different groups of bivalve molluscs. Some species of oysters are commonly eaten, either cooked or raw, as a delicacy. While other types of oyster, such as pearl oysters, are not normally consumed by humans, they are harvested for their pearls.
Learn about National Oyster Day
If you are a lover of oysters, or any type of seafood for that matter, you are definitely going to enjoy National Oyster Day. This is a day that has been created to celebrate the different number of species of bivalve molluscs that can be eaten, which are now considered a delicacy around the world today. In fact, oysters have been consumed for centuries by humans around the world. They also used to be a pivotal source of food in areas near the coast.
Overfishing and pollution have both reduced the supplies of oysters by a considerable degree. Nevertheless, they still remain a delicacy that is highly popular today. You probably already know that they are considered an aphrodisiac. They are also rich in vitamin B12, vitamin A, selenium, iron, calcium, and zinc.
History of National Oyster Day
The history of National Oyster Day is unknown, but the history of human’s relationship with oysters is very long, since Roman times there is evidence of people in the United Kingdom and France farming oysters. In the 19th century New York harbour was the largest producer of oysters in the world and provided nutritious food for thousands of people. Nowadays National Oyster Day is most widely celebrated in America and the UK, with many festivals to celebrate this culinary delicacy. People celebrate by eating fresh oysters or buying oyster pearls for loved ones.
How to celebrate National Oyster Day
The best way to celebrate National Oyster Day is to dine on this delicious treat. Oysters need to be cooked alive or consumed alive. They cannot be eaten safely when they are dead. You can tell whether an oyster is alive or not because a live oyster is able to close its shell. Therefore, do make sure you keep this in mind so that you consume oysters safely. The last thing you want to do is celebrate National Oyster Day with food poisoning. If you want to eat oysters in their most nutritious form, you should eat them raw. Raw oysters tend to be served with a cocktail sauce, vinegar, or lemon. Salt and butter are also sometimes added. You can also boil oysters, as well as streaming, broiling, roasting, pickling, baking, smoking, and frying them. As you can see, they are a more versatile ingredient than a lot of people realize!
So, to celebrate National Oyster Day, you could attempt to prepare and serve them yourself. Or, if you don’t want to go to this effort, why not treat yourself by going to a local seafood restaurant? Nowadays, thanks to the Internet, it is easy to find out whether a restaurant has oysters on their menu or not. You should be able to find a restaurant with oysters on their menu with ease. Plus, you never know, there may even be some special oyster recipes on the menu especially for National Oyster Day.
If you are feeling brave and you are going to attempt to cook or prepare raw oysters yourself, why not invite some friends around and make an occasion of it? You can all enjoy some delicious oysters together, and wash them down with a nice glass of wine. You can find a lot of helpful information online about pairing oysters and wine so that you have no trouble putting them together effectively.
In terms of choosing the best oysters, just-shucked, live oysters tend to have the best flavor. Just-shucked simply means that they have just been opened. If you do not want to shuck the oysters yourself, you can ask your fishmonger to do this for you. However, you are going to need to eat the oysters as soon as you can after this, so it is best to shuck them yourself just before they are about to be served.
Native oysters are believed to taste much better than rock oysters, despite the fact that they are smaller. They have a more complex flavor, with a very faint metallic note. Oysters are graded based on their size. The smallest being 5 and the biggest being 1. They also tend to grow very slowly. In fact, did you know that it can take as long as three years for oysters to reach their full size? Moreover, native oysters tend to cost more than rock oysters, and the key here is to eat them as simply as possible. Don’t add lots of flavor and mask the true taste of the oyster. Instead, enjoy the pure taste of the native oyster.
What can you expect from rock oysters? Well, they tend to have a more unctuous flavor. They are salty and sweeter. You can eat them raw and they are good for cooking as well. A lot of people tend to go for these oysters purely because they are bigger and cheaper as well.
You may be wondering how long your oysters are going to last. If they have been shucked, you need to keep them in the fridge and they must be eaten on the same day as they have been purchased. If they have not been opened yet, you should put them in the fridge, with the larger side down, and cover them with a damp tea towel. They will then last for as long as three days. However, the sooner you eat them, the better they are going to taste.
Finally, if you are going to shuck the oysters yourself; don’t worry – we have got you covered. To do this, you should wrap your hand in a tea towel first. Do this thickly so that your hand is protected. After you have done this, use the same hand to grip the oyster and have the cupped shell down in the palm of your hand, with the hinge pointing toward you. You should then insert a short knife with a strong, sharp blade into the small gap, in the hinge. You should keep twisting the knife from side to side until you are able to break the hinge. You can get a shucking knife for this, but if you have not got the time to do so, a short knife is going to work fine. Once you have lever opened the top half of the shell, you can then use the knife to gently run it along the inner edges so that the top shell of the oyster breaks free. You can discard this shell. The oyster is binded to the other shell, so you can use the knife to gently free it.
You can find plenty of other useful tips and recipes online to help you make the most of National Oyster Day!