I am no expert, but I do believe in learning from second hand experiences. Raw, fried, grilled or stuffed…oysters are definitely a staple in Mississippi Gulf Coast restaurants. Like crawfish and crabs, oysters are good social foods when in season. Oysters that are shucked in the colder months instead have a more desirable lean, firm texture and bright briny flavor. There are some fancy ones out there but I got an OXO one for about 8 bucks on Amazon and it served my needs. Generally between Christmas and Easter is peak oyster season in Texas as the waters are cooler and risks from bacteria are lower. That has local restaurants turning to Texas for gulf oysters … The largest remaining oyster reefs in the world are found in Louisiana. Overall, while it is oyster season take advantage of them while you can and even if it is not raw oyster season there are several great restaurants that have do them well broiled, grilled, or fried. If you have some cut resistant gloves use them (and if you don’t, get some!). Although those findings don't apply to the area as a whole, oil-related issues have prompted no government regulation of oysters. But the 2019-20 season has been a pleasant surprise, according to conservation officials. Applying the HPP method to shucking, the oysters open without damaging the meat leaving you a perfectly shucked oyster. When it comes to eating, I enjoy oysters raw- either putting them on a saltine cracker or out just eating them straight out of the shell with a dash of Tabasco or cocktail sauce and a squeeze of lemon. Some people love 'em. “Oysters are unique among fisheries because they’re also habitat,” Blitch says. When Is Oyster Season? Fresh: Live Mississippi Gulf Oysters should be stored at 40–45 degrees Fahrenheit. Oysters taste best out of cold water, so I say to follow the frost line — southern oysters in late winter and early spring, northern oysters in fall, and everybody around the holidays.” Sherman says there are “huge seasonal differences in the flavor of the oyster, like vintages of wine. Spawning causes them to become fatty, watery, soft, and less flavorful. There is no denying that the covid-19 pandemic has slowed consumption of Gulf of Mexico region oysters, as is the case with many other seafood species. Recently, prospects for the Gulf region’s oysters have improved, thanks largely to damage-settlement funds resulting from the oil spill that devastated so many of the reefs a decade ago. Most people will tell you that the "r-month rule" doesn't matter … But oysters caught in the oyster-rich Pontchartrain Basin fell dramatically after the spill, plunging from 8.2 million in 2009 to 1.9 million in 2012. The taste is said to be mild and delicate. We typically have Florida and Louisiana oysters in stock and offer them by the dozen or by the case. In other words, because they don’t reproduce, spawning during the summertime is no longer a concern. Sure, eat Gulf Oysters, but eat them cooked, not raw. Gilhooley's Restaurant. Oysters 3/4 inch to 3 inches and dead oyster shell > 3/4 inch may not make up more than 5% by number of oysters in possession. We are fortunate here in Houston to have easy access to fresh oysters from the Gulf of Mexico. M (who is not a big fan) was like “if you like oysters that much, why don’t you write about them.” So I decided to grab some buddies and take advantage of the Houston Oyster season for a cook-out. PRICES WILL VARY DEPENDING ON THE SPECIES OF OYSTER. It is curved which is nice for getting leverage and it is thick enough to not break when twisting and able to get between the shell halves. I fall strongly in the former category and love oysters in all their forms. The best oysters come from Louisiana? The freshwater of the Mississippi River that runs into the Gulf lowers the salinity of the water and contributes to making Gulf Oysters large, tender and meaty. Wherever you go, seafood is likely to be first on the menu, including the wild-caught Gulf Oyster, which is a strain of Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica) but with a different taste and texture. Flesh-Eating Bacteria Case Raises Concerns, Sun Sentinel: Protect Public From Dangers of Raw Gulf Oysters, Seafood Restaurants in Apalachicola, Florida, Facts About Oysters in the Gulf of Mexico, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights. Among the many culinary options that … That being said, it is definitely not the easiest or safest route for oyster shucking. It is both tasty and efficient (or lazy). There are several places throughout Seabrook, Kemah, Dickenson, and Galveston where you can get them. Some types of oysters are commonly consumed cooked or raw, and in some locales are regarded as a … "We won't even have a commercial oyster season this year," Hendon says. When the weather starts getting hot, you have to worry more about bacteria and you should not eat Texas Gulf Coast oysters raw outside of oyster season. There was no 2018-19 oyster season on the Alabama coast. No more than 2 sacks of legal oysters may be possessed per person. Before taking oysters from any area for any reason, it is advisable to check with the Marine Resources Division (MRD) at Dauphin Island (251-861-2882) or Gulf Shores (251-968-7576). A sack is defined as 110 pounds of oysters including dead oyster shell and the sack. A combination of Parmesan cheese, spices, and butter with sauted spinach and fresh parsley is delicious even if not the most health conscious variation. Louisiana, which bore the worst of the damage from too-low salinity and smothering algae blooms and historically accounts for 75 percent of gulf and 34 percent of U.S. harvest, is all but out of commission for this fall's oyster harvest season. Aside from possible petroleum contamination, flesh-eating bacteria is a real and present danger. M will not touch the raw ones, but enjoyed the fried ones. Also, gloves are your friend. Like crawfish and crabs, oysters are good social foods when in season. Texas November 2018 Elections. For decades, if you ordered oysters on the half-shell on the eastern Gulf coast, they most likely came from Apalachicola Bay – an estuary in north Florida where freshwater rivers meet the Gulf … We have teamed up with Leavins Seafood of Apalachicola Bay, Florida to bring you the best Gulf oysters from back home on the Bayou, home of the Tigers, home of Creole cooking and of course New Orleans or NOLA. Some 700 people have become seriously ill from the Vibrio vulnificus bacteria infection, said to cause excruciating pain as it eats its way through skin and muscle. If raw oysters is not your thing, another route is to char-grill them. New Orleans food delivered to your door. Best Oysters in Gulf Shores, Alabama: Find 55,676 Tripadvisor traveller reviews of THE BEST Oysters and search by price, location, and more. They are still natural-set, still wild, more or less, and still affordable–more or less. The r-month rule DOES matter. Seafood harvested from the Mississippi Sound supports a long linage of fishing families along the coast. Closed Areas. Scientists (funded in part by BP) have found no evidence of higher levels of contamination after the spill in certain tested areas. Cajun food delivered nationwide. Some folks will do a quick boil with the oysters if they are worried about bacteria/rawness, especially when the season is just starting. The following minor bays are CLOSED to oyster harvest Depends on who you ask. The half sacks we got ran about 20 bucks. Current prices are based on Wilson's from Louisiana and Apalachicola's … FRESH LIVE GULF OYSTERS Live oysters are weighed and inspected before undergoing a pressure washing process where oysters are handpicked for quality assurance. Since the BP oil spill, those numbers have been way down, but if you see a generic oyster in a supermarket or a raw bar, it’s probably still a Gulf oyster, which is a strain of Eastern oyster. Before you and your friends or family make a trip down to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, you should especially look forward to one thing: OYSTERS! Nowadays, many of the oysters that are farmed in warmer regions like the Gulf Coast are triploids, which are bred to be sterile. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Midtown Houston Farmers Market at Elizabeth Baldwin Park, Register to Vote! So if you're heading down to vacation on the Gulf, do you take your life in your hands by eating Gulf Oysters? Gulf Region Oysters range from Florida all the way to Louisiana, and the Gulf of Texas. Even before the BP oil spill in the Gulf, Gulf Oyster production had been declining after a series of environmental issues. So should you go ahead and indulge in raw oysters while you're down in Louisiana or other Gulf states? The shellfish anchor themselves to firm things under water like rocks, pilings, boats, tires and bottles. No later data was taken. There are so many wonderful places to visit on the Gulf of Mexico that it could keep you busy for a decade of vacations. Today, less so, although the largest remaining oyster reefs on the planet are found in Louisiana. It’s best to use Mississippi Gulf Oysters as soon as possible; however, they can stay fresh from 10–14 days when properly refrigerated. Description. Gilhooley’s Restaurant, located in San Leon, is one of the best spots on … Learn more. Apalachicola Bay** NEW: Harvest of all wild oysters from Apalachicola Bay is temporarily suspended and on-the-water possession of wild oyster harvesting equipment (tongs) is prohibited.This does not apply to oyster aquaculture operations. Overall, treat yourself on a knife and gloves if you are going to shuck yourself. (Photo: Louisiana state contour against blurred USA flag image by Stasys Eidiejus from Fotolia.com ), Gluten-Free Restaurants in Bethesda, Maryland, Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico: U.S. Gulf of Mexico Oyster, CNN: Cultivating a Demand for Raw Gulf Oysters Five Years After BP Spill, SpringerLink: Shellfish of the Gulf of Mexico, CBS News: How Dangerous Are Raw Oysters? For someone looking to try oysters this is probably a good gateway to try them. A freelance writer with an MA in English and MFA in Creative writing, she's written travel pieces for S.F.Gate, Fairmont Hotels, IHS Hotels, Jet Blue, Choice Hotels, Women of Green, eHow, Arizona Central and USA Today, among others. Louisiana produces the majority of Gulf Coast oysters. Some raw oysters from the Gulf of Mexico carry the flesh-eating Vibrio vulnificus bacteria. Thank the famed Gulf oyster for keeping oysters from being an exclusive treat. Overall it was smooth sailing. Last but not least, an article about oysters would not be complete without talking about some deep fried oysters. Best Oysters in Texas Gulf Coast, Texas: Find 107,225 Tripadvisor traveller reviews of THE BEST Oysters and search by price, location, and more. On the other hand, your best bet to find fresh Gulf Oysters on the menu is between May and October. Prestige Oysters is one of the nation's leading oyster distributor specializing in fresh, shucked, High Pressure Process and frozen oysters. (Photo: Louisiana state contour against blurred USA flag image by Stasys Eidiejus from Fotolia.com ). Despite skipping this step I am happy to report with confidence that I was food borne illness free. In some species, the valves are highly calcified, and many are somewhat irregular in shape. As a kid, Hillman’s Seafood & Fish House in Dickinson is where we would go to get our oysters. If you go out wading in the Gulf, you can see live oysters in places with shallow brackish water like estuaries and sounds. Taking oysters from a closed area for any reason is prohibited. With docks all along the Gulf coast and over 20,000 acres of private leases in Texas, Louisiana and Florida. So, in order to not interfere with this life cycle, oyster season was traditionally closed May through August. But food is the one thing you might hear us brag about from time to time, because we know it's that good. Here is a picture of some we charbroiled and they were delicious. Or maybe just go for the shrimp. Transporting oysters at night through closed areas are prohibited. The evidence is is to the left. If you know Gulf Coast food, you know these are great for po-boys or even by themselves with a Remoulade sauce. Not long ago, the Gulf of Mexico produced most of the oysters in the U.S. Now, there are lot of ways to enjoy oysters but first you have to get the stubborn mollusks out. For example, I have learned that a flat head screwdriver/hammer and a can-do attitude can be effective. You won't hear southerners bragging too often, as it's just not really our style. Oysters are shucked and placed on a tray that will go to the grilling station at Acme Oyster House in the French Quarter in New Orleans, La. The lower salinity levels of the Gulf have protected wild oysters from certain diseases in a way that hasn’t happened in the Chesapeake. Louisiana produces the majority of Gulf Coast oysters. 6 of 6 The recipe for grilled oysters in simple: Take Gulf Coast oyster on the half-shell and place it on a wood-fired grill. Some attribute this decline to the spill, others do not. If you go out wading in the Gulf … Below are four popular types of seafood that are widely available during the spring months. These have a very mild, sweet flavor since they grow quickly (most mature in about eight months) and are full of plump, succulent meat. I personally have not tried making them char-grilled until this year and I think these are going to be a must for me going forward. Louisiana Gulf Oysters for sale. "There's just nothing out there for the guys to go harvest." Make Cajun groceries online with CajunGrocer.com. Raw oysters ("on the half-shell") are not for every palate, but they do attract a devoted following. *Apalachicola Bay includes St. George Sound, East Bay, Apalachicola Bay, and St. Vincent Sound and their canals, … Oysters Apalachicola Bay. Gulf Oysters spawn in the summer, and some think they don't taste as good during this time. In our case, my friend picked some up at TH Seafood in Seabrook. Learn more. Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. There's a lot of seafood that you can eat year round in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, but if you want the freshest meals, you'll want to order what's in season. In these gender-bending times, it's interesting to note that Gulf oysters are protandric, spawning first as males, but later, when they grow larger, as females. RAW OYSTER DISCLAIMER: If your oyster shell is cracked, it smells foul, or the shell is open before you go to pry it open; do not eat the oyster. Also, whiskey goes pretty well with oysters. I shucked the left over oysters from the night before (that were on ice) and decided to do a mix of cornmeal, pepper, and bread crumbs for the batter and then fried them up in vegetable oil. Consuming raw or undercooked seafood or shellfish may increase your risk of foodborne illness. We ate these bad boys with some warm crusty french bread. NEW: Harvest of all wild oysters from Apalachicola Bay is temporarily suspended and on-the-water possession of wild oyster harvesting equipment (tongs) is prohibited.This does not apply to oyster aquaculture operations. Most of the oysters eaten in the country came from the Gulf of Mexico before the BP oil-spill disaster. Oysters spawn in the warm summer months, usually May through August, although in the Gulf of Mexico, oysters spawn year-round because of the warm water. So the best advice if you are heading to the Gulf of Mexico? Check out what else we got in the Food and Drink section or Like Us on Facebook! Spoon-shaped, they are cream-colored or brownish when raw, ivory when cooked. Our juicy, plump gulf oysters are coveted by foodies all around the world and we are so proud to have them available and to support the community of fishermen behind the catch. She has lived one the East Coast and the West, as well as Mexico, Switzerland, Italy and France. Oyster is the common name for a number of different families of salt-water bivalve molluscs that live in marine or brackish habitats. This bacteria can be eliminated from oysters by treatment, but, at time of publication, the federal government has not stepped in to make this mandatory. Teo Spengler was born in central Alaska and has been traveling ever since. We have access to several different species and will be happy to source whatever you are looking for. Gulf oysters were first harvested by Native Americans, who had an easier time collecting the relatively stationary shellfish than mobile shellfish like shrimp. Cajun Grocer has all the cooking, kitchenware, crawfish, seasoning, and Mardi Gras accessories to properly authenticate your next Cajun celebration. One learning I did have is gloves on both hands are good as it is possible to cut your knife hand with an oyster shell if your grip slips. Oysters are one of those foods you either love or hate, especially when it comes to the raw varieties. Sack Limits (Do not apply to vessels harvesting seed oysters) Primary Public Oyster Seed Grounds east of the Mississippi River and north of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO; LDH Harvest Areas 1-4) Closed: Closed Gulf oysters were first harvested by Native Americans, who had an easier time collecting the relatively stationary shellfish than mobile shellfish like shrimp. There are a lot of videos on how to shuck oysters out there so I won’t get into the nitty-gritty here. Many, but not all oysters are in the superfamily Ostreoidea.. If you aren’t up for making them yourself, there are also several excellent oyster bars in the Greater Houston area (but that’s an article for another day). They tend to be large, tender, meaty, and mild (due … Fishing for Live Clams on Los Angeles Beaches. We carry fresh oysters on a regular basis. Enjoyed this post? Louisiana your home state? California, out-front on many such issues, has had a law in effect for 20 years forbidding the sale of raw, untreated Gulf oysters in the state. © 2020 USATODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. Oysters grow like weeds down in the Gulf. We are fortunate here in Houston to have easy access to fresh oysters from the Gulf of Mexico. This year I opted to get an actual shucking knife. Some people hate 'em. Oyster harvesting is prohibited in Red Tide, when harmful bacteria and toxins are most likely to be produced or absorbed by Gulf Oysters, which is why we source from local oyster farmers when the season isn’t ripe for the picking!
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