Oysters play an important role in coastal communities. In the environment, oysters filter water, improving water quality, and they create habitat for other animals. Their unique flavor makes them a desirable dish, supporting the livelihoods of watermen and local economies across the country. In addition, oysters are low in calories but rich in vitamins, like zinc, iron and selenium. Celebrate the small but mighty oyster this National Oyster Day, Sea Grant-style, with one or more of these ways:
1. The classic way
2. With a dash of spice
This quick broil recipe from North Carolina Sea Grant incorporates parsley and tarragon for a fresh taste.
3. On top of pizza
The smoked oysters in Washington Sea Grant’s Garlic-Chili Oil and Smoked Oyster Pizza pack a punch of umami that works great with the bright herby base and bitter greens.
This recipe for hot and crispy fried oysters from Texas Sea Grant is sure to make your mouth water.
5. With a little cheese
Delaware Sea Grant’s Oysters Asiago infuses the components of a creamy seafood chowder with bold Italian flavors into a delicious filling even the staunchest oyster-haters will have a hard time resisting.
6. By appreciating the flavor
Learn about the “meroir”, or the unique taste of oysters, in this Shellfish Short from Rhode Island Sea Grant. “…the subtle differences between the flavors of oysters comes from the way the oyster is grown,” says Robert “Skid” Rheault, executive director of the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association.
7. With bacon
Texas Sea Grant’s bacon-wrapped oysters make for a great h’ordeuvre.
8. In jambalaya
This Creole dish from North Carolina Sea Grant incorporates shrimp and oysters with Italian sausage for a savory one-pot meal.
Treat yourself to the rich flavors of Alaska Sea Grant’s Oysters Rockefeller, with white wine, fennel and parmesan cheese. After pouring the sauce on the oysters, finish off by baking or broiling for a few minutes. Maryland Sea Grant also demonstrates how to prepare Oysters Rockefeller in their Shuck at Home series.
10. By acknowledging the importance of oysters
Finally, learn more about the economic, environmental, health and social benefits of oyster farming in this video from Woods Hole Sea Grant.
And, here are a few places to find them fresh:
- In a Half Shell National Directory of Oysters for Home Delivery or Pick-Up
- Alaska Grown Oysters Directory
- Connecticut Sea Grant Seafood Sales
- Oyster Trail of Maine
- New Hampshire Sea Grant Local Seafood Finder
- North Carolina Oyster Trail
- Virginia Oyster Growers Directory
No matter how you choose to enjoy your oysters, don’t forget to share your delicious shell-ebration with us using #SeaGrantOysters!
Bonus: Learn how to shuck an oyster with this demonstration sheet from New Hampshire Sea Grant.