It’s National Oyster Day! Yay! In light of the holiday, I give you this piece I wrote about the bad rep oysters get:
Okay, I’m just going to come right out and say that I love oysters.
I’m a frequent eater of the seafood and it pains me to say this but I’ve come across far too many oyster haters. While I totally and completely understand those that dislike the critter because of its texture (I will admit, it’s weird), I don’t understand how people who have NEVER EVEN TRIED OYSTERS can come out and say they don’t like them. That’s like saying you hate Beyonce and you’ve never listened to a single one of her songs. At the very least, if you’re going to form an opinion on oysters, please just take a taste of them so your thoughts actually hold water.
Now, for the people who tried them “forever ago” and “just don’t like them.” I get this. I was a picky child growing up. I went through bizarre food phases and refused specific items because I had preconceived notions that they were bad. I forced myself to gag on slices of raw tomatoes because I was convinced they were “gross.” Now, tomatoes are one of my favorite foods. Go figure. As someone who has experienced massive taste bud changes in her own life, I can confidently say that if you tried oysters years ago, you may like them now. Don’t let oysters become your tomatoes. You’ll look back and think of the time you didn’t eat them as “lost years.”
There’s also waaaaaaay too many “oyster myths” out there. I don’t want to say that I personally blame these myths for tainting the reputation of my beloved bivalves — but I do. Just for some clarification:
1) Just because oysters are $1 doesn’t mean they are “not good” or “bad quality.”
Bars and restaurants alike run oyster specials, often in conjunction with happy hour, all the time. For some reason, people have gotten the notion that they must be rancid or that the joint that’s selling them is just trying to make a quick buck by scamming you with old seafood. This is not true. Some oysters are cheaper to harvest than others meaning they get to you, the eater, at a cheaper price.
2) The “only-eat-oysters-during-months-that-contain-the-letter-R” rule is antiquated.
The oysters are bigger, meatier, and more flavorful during “R” months — there’s no dispute there. But if you want to take down a dozen in the middle of May, don’t fret because you certainly can and should. The oysters won’t be as big in warmer months but they are just as regulated in the spring and summer as they are in the winter and fall. You can happily and healthily eat oysters all year long.
3) There are a TON of other ways to eat oysters that don’t involve them being raw.
This is dedicated to all those people who think they hate oysters. Have you tried Oysters Rockefeller? What about an oyster po’boy? OR HOW ABOUT OYSTER BORDELAISE?! I’m willing to bet you like cheese, fried foods, and/or garlic. I’ll just get to the point: you’re welcome.
So, ladies and gentlemen, I’m not trying to convert you to a crazy oyster fiend like myself. I just want you to carefully consider your words before you make an attack on one of my seafaring delights. At the end of all of this, you may just want to let the world be your oyster but I’m going to let the oyster be my world.
This piece was originally published on The Huffington Post.