The most popular myths and tips on how to find fresh oysters

If you're nervous about buying or eating oysters, don't be. The oysters you purchase at the store should be closed and heavy, with no water leaking out. There's no place for oysters in a fish tank.

The most popular myths and tips on how to find fresh oysters
The most common misconceptions about oysters and practical advice for locating delicious ones. Photo by Menú Acapulco / Unsplash

You shouldn't worry about buying or eating oysters. When you buy oysters in a store, they should be closed and heavy, and the water shouldn't be leaking out. Oysters should not be sold in an aquarium.

Do you know the best place to try oysters? It is a myth that the best quality oysters are where they are produced because it is where the second and third-class oysters are sold that have not been exported.

Another common myth is that oysters should not be eaten in months without the letter 'r', i.e. the warm summer months. This myth dates back to the last century when oysters could not be stored and transported because of the warm weather and does not apply today.

The myth that oysters have to be gobbled is also false. It is not, oysters must be shucked. This myth has such long legs that it is impossible to find the real source or explanation of where it comes from.

Also, people often believe that oysters can rarely be enjoyed fresh and are often spoiled, but this is not the case. You can tell if oysters are spoiled by smelling them. Oysters should smell like fresh seafood, but if the oyster is old you will smell it, as will anyone sitting next to it, as the aroma is unpleasant and very strong.

What should I consider when buying oysters?

Firstly, all oysters, regardless of their country of origin, are divided into two categories: below 10,5% meat (fine) and above (speciale).

If you like a leaner, saltier oyster with more seafood nuances, it is the "fine" oyster that is cheaper. If you want something meatier, sweeter, with perhaps more fruity notes, and a nutty aftertaste, it will be "speciale".

The name of the oyster is then followed by a word, which is not so important, as it denotes either the region from which the oyster comes or the name of the distributor. What is important, however, is the size of the oyster.

Oysters are divided by size from five to one. Five is the smallest size. Oysters of size three are the most commonly offered in restaurants, while the largest is of size one, which is usually chosen when the oysters are cooked rather than eaten fresh.

When buying oysters, they must be closed and heavy, and the water must not have spilled. Oysters should not be in aquariums at the point of sale, as they then take up the water in which they live and the aquarium environment is not suitable for an oyster.

An oyster can live for two weeks, but after purchase, it can be stored for a few days in a refrigerator at two to four degrees Celsius.