Alright folks, your eating technique matters when it comes to oysters. There’s a right way and a wrong way, and we are here to help you make it look easy. There’s just something so irresistible about a plump, juicy oyster and a pint of beer or glass of champagne. But, many people might not even be taking advantage of the complete flavor combination. Do we even know what we like when it comes to an oyster?
Here are some tips straight from the experts about how to eat ‘em right and slurp ‘em down:
Baby Steps are Best
How an oyster will taste comes down to two things: size and salt. If you’re a newbie, start small. You can easily order by size (small, medium, large) and specify to your server whether you prefer mild or salty. If you don’t know, try one of each!
Fun Fact: Oysters typically earn their name based on the bay they’re harvested. They gain their taste and texture based on the waters.
Skip the Condiments
At least on your first go around. Embrace the unadulterated flavor and then add whatever you see fit. Whether that be a squeeze of lemon, a tad of fresh-grated horseradish or a spoonful of cocktail sauce, use it sparingly. When you mask the flavors, you miss the point of eating an oyster.
Punny, we know. That tiny little fork is to dig all the yummy meat out of the shell and you definitely want to take advantage of it. The meat is attached to the shell, and you might need to do a little dirty work to get it all out. It will be totally worth it, trust us. After that, you’re in for a treat! Oysters aren’t just packed with meat, but the juices are also crazy good. Slurp ‘em up then sit ‘em down! When you’re all finished, place the oyster face down on a plate to let your server know.
There’s such a thing as oyster etiquette, and we’ll help you go neck and neck with the food snobs with just a few simple buzzwords. Use these words to describe texture: chewy, firm, soft, gooey (note: size isn’t a proper description). Use these words to describe taste: sweet, buttery, melon, copper, metallic, salty, briny.
Chew or Simply Swallow?
The great thing about eating oysters and the culture that surrounds it is that there are really no rules. Do your thing. In our opinion, just slurping down the oyster without taking a minute to chew kind of defeats the purpose. But, to each their own. Chewing the meat allows you to experience the incredible flavor and texture variations between each oyster and fully savor the taste of the sea.
Pair ‘em with Booze
We’ve saved the most important part for last. If wine is your thing, pair your oysters with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Riesling. And of course, champagne is an obvious companion to our favorite bivalve. Look for a “brut nature” or “extra brut”, which simply means that little to no sugar has been added. When you opt for a cocktail pairing, think bracing, not sweet. A dry martini with a half-dozen oysters is a thing of beauty, really. Feeling adventurous? Go with a white tequila. Last but not least, beer pairs with oysters quite perfectly. A Belgian ale or simple lager will get the job done.
Julington Creek Fish Camp Favorites
Broiled Oysters with Horseradish Bacon Cream paired with Local Bold City Killer Whale
Raw or Steamed Oysters on the Half Shell ½ Dozen & Dozen paired with Sauvignon Blanc
We know a thing or two about doing oysters the right way. Whether they’re raw, baked or grilled, oysters are meant to be tasted and savored. It’s customary to order a half-dozen per person, but if you opt for the full 12, we aren’t judging. Fresh seafood is our game at Julington Creek Fish Camp, and you surely won’t find better oysters in the Sunshine State!