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Seasons Best - We Shucking Love Oysters

Posted Sep 4, 2015
Autumn is just around the corner foodies. Not to worry, as the change in season means a change in produce, which means new recipes to try, yay! Good news for seafood lovers, as September is all about oysters!

Although they can be enjoyed all year-round, the official oyster season is September through to April. To help you remember, there is a long-standing myth that suggests that oysters should only be eaten with months containing the letter ‘R’. This make sense, as during summer months oysters devote a lot of their energy to reproducing!

Once a common food for the poor in London, today, oysters are considered a delicacy. Although they certainly have an acquired taste, oysters are becoming more common on menus in British restaurants, including Edinburgh’s Ondine restaurant, which is renowned for its high quality oysters!

Ondine loves oysters so much that it devotes an hour a day Monday to Friday to the shellfish, where you can enjoy oysters for a £1 a shuck 5.30pm till 6.30pm. This is a great way to experience oysters for the first time or indulge on a lifelong love. Check out their latest menu here.  

Ondine - Where You Can Enjoy Oysters at their Best
Try Michael Penaluna's Rock Oyster Recipe!

So Many Types – Pick Your Favourite

Oysters come in all shapes, sizes and flavours! We are quite lucky here in the UK, as oyster can be found along our coastline, including Essex, Kent, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and the west of Scotland. These oysters are called Native and are very unique, as each region differs in flavour and texture, from pure and firm to saline and plump, some even have a herby taste! With so much variety, we are sure you will find your favourite type!

An alternative to the native is the Pacific rock oyster. This shellfish is slightly cheaper and is available all year round. They tend to be smaller and have a sweeter taste.  

How to Enjoy Oysters at their Best
Oysters are very satisfying and can be enjoyed raw, however, if you’re not keen on raw shellfish, they can be lightly grilled, fried or even baked. Cooking your oysters can bring out its creamy taste, if you prefer this over the salty tang when raw.

Whether raw or cooked, this unique shellfish has an invigorating taste - refreshing, salty and tangy – the best way to describe it is ‘the sea, in edible form’.  

For Cooks Tip: Why not zest your oysters up with a few drops of lemon juice, vinegar or Tabasco sauce?  

Oyster Tip for Home Cooks
Thinking of cooking oysters at home? Our advice? Go for it!! Oysters are no longer just a restaurant delicacy. They are surprisingly easy to prepare and cook and they will definitely be a conversation starter at dinner parties!

First things first, you have to make sure you buy good quality oysters – check they smell briny-fresh and the shells are bright and tightly closed (this means they are still alive).

Once you have purchased your fresh oysters, now it is important you store them correctly. Unopened oysters can be kept in the fridge, but remember - do not store in an airtight container, or under water, as this will kill the oysters! However, opened oysters can be kept in a sealed container in the fridge, they can also be frozen (which are better for cooking).

Now you have mastered how to store these little guys, it’s time to make the most of oyster season and move onto recipe ideas! We love Michael Penaluna’s rock oyster recipe. He teams his with apple and mint – give it a go here.

For Cooks Tip - Oysters are great for social dining, get all your guest shucking!

Have fun experimenting with this unique, distinctive shellfish home cooks! Developed an interesting oyster recipe? Share it with us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Happy shucking home cooks! 

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