Knowing how to eat an oyster makes all the difference in your oyster eating experience. Yes, you can just chew them and slurp it down but to truly have an oyster euphoric experience, there is a formal 4-step procedure. I absolutely love oysters and I've used these same oyster eating steps every time. How you eat an oyster can truly change your oyster experience and help you notice the small nuance flavors you might have missed before.
How to Eat an Oyster
- Smell – the oyster should have a briny and fresh ocean water smell.
- Sip – typically an oyster served in its shell will have a little bit of seawater (brine) left inside. Sipping on the brine is suggested to cleanse the palate and prep your taste buds.
- Eat – it was highly suggested that you chew through your oyster (which I agree is best/delicious) so you can get the ‘flavor of the sea’. You also get to taste the oyster's subtle sweetness.
- Pair – with a crisp, light glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
Bonus: Oyster Facts
- Fact: Raw oysters are very safe and have stricter standards than other proteins. The bar for raw shellfish is set so high, don't even think twice when it's on the menu!
- Myth: Only eat oysters in months that end in ‘r’. Have you heard this saying before? Back in the day, this used to be the rule for identifying warm weathered months, which was not ideal for oyster eating. Today, oyster farming practices have changes so much that we no longer have to check the calendar if we want to enjoy a plate of oysters.
- A single oyster can clean up to 120 liters of water a day, helping to keep the ecosystem tidy and in balance.
My absolute oyster is the kumamoto, which is mild and briny. If you haven't tried them, order them next time! And now that you know how to eat an oyster, you can use these steps to really take these oysters to their highest potential. Want to switch up your oyster order? Try a large barbecued oyster, like the ones I had at Hog Island Oyster Co., topped with chipotle butter before being put on the grill.
Which oyster is your favorite?
This article I originally wrote in January of 2016, which I have since updated and re-published.