Oyster is the common name for a number of different families of salt-water bivalve molluscs that live in marine or brackish habitats. Oysters are one of those foods you either love or hate, especially when it comes to the raw varieties. The ban is in effect every year from April through October, the months when Vibrio vulnificus bacteria are present. 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. Louisiana produces the majority of Gulf Coast oysters. © 2020 USATODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. Some folks will do a quick boil with the oysters if they are worried about bacteria/rawness, especially when the season is just starting. 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. Or maybe just go for the shrimp. If you know Gulf Coast food, you know these are great for po-boys or even by themselves with a Remoulade sauce. If you go out wading in the Gulf … 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. We carry fresh oysters on a regular basis. The r-month rule DOES matter. M will not touch the raw ones, but enjoyed the fried ones. Many, but not all oysters are in the superfamily Ostreoidea.. Below are four popular types of seafood that are widely available during the spring months. 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. PRICES WILL VARY DEPENDING ON THE SPECIES OF OYSTER. Spawning causes them to become fatty, watery, soft, and less flavorful. There are a lot of videos on how to shuck oysters out there so I won’t get into the nitty-gritty here. Description. That being said, it is definitely not the easiest or safest route for oyster shucking. A sack is defined as 110 pounds of oysters including dead oyster shell and the sack. Today, less so, although the largest remaining oyster reefs on the planet are found in Louisiana. For example, I have learned that a flat head screwdriver/hammer and a can-do attitude can be effective. Louisiana produces the majority of Gulf Coast oysters. Almost half of those people have died and many of those who survived have lost limbs. If you have some cut resistant gloves use them (and if you don’t, get some!). We are fortunate here in Houston to have easy access to fresh oysters from the Gulf of Mexico. If raw oysters is not your thing, another route is to char-grill them. So should you go ahead and indulge in raw oysters while you're down in Louisiana or other Gulf states? Thank the famed Gulf oyster for keeping oysters from being an exclusive treat. Among the many culinary options that … Usually my grip was true, but I had a couple near misses this year and the gloves kept my oyster holding hand unscathed. This year I opted to get an actual shucking knife. Some people love 'em. 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. Season Closing (one-half hour after sunset) Open areas may periodically be closed by LDH for public health concerns. Teo Spengler was born in central Alaska and has been traveling ever since. 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. Fishing for Live Clams on Los Angeles Beaches. LICENSE REQUIREMENTS The following minor bays are CLOSED to oyster harvest We have access to several different species and will be happy to source whatever you are looking for. Applying the HPP method to shucking, the oysters open without damaging the meat leaving you a perfectly shucked oyster. Some attribute this decline to the spill, others do not. So, in order to not interfere with this life cycle, oyster season was traditionally closed May through August. New Orleans food delivered to your door. Closed Areas. Seafood harvested from the Mississippi Sound supports a long linage of fishing families along the coast. Generally between Christmas and Easter is peak oyster season in Texas as the waters are cooler and risks from bacteria are lower. Overall it was smooth sailing. Last but not least, an article about oysters would not be complete without talking about some deep fried oysters. It is both tasty and efficient (or lazy). Generally between Christmas and Easter is peak oyster season in Texas as the waters are cooler and risks from bacteria are lower. So if you're heading down to vacation on the Gulf, do you take your life in your hands by eating Gulf Oysters? She and currently splits her time between San Francisco and France's Basque Country. 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. 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. Consuming raw or undercooked seafood or shellfish may increase your risk of foodborne illness. Like crawfish and crabs, oysters are good social foods when in season. 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. Best Oysters in Gulf Shores, Alabama: Find 55,676 Tripadvisor traveller reviews of THE BEST Oysters and search by price, location, and more. Aside from possible petroleum contamination, flesh-eating bacteria is a real and present danger. “Oysters are unique among fisheries because they’re also habitat,” Blitch says. 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 … 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. Cajun Grocer has all the cooking, kitchenware, crawfish, seasoning, and Mardi Gras accessories to properly authenticate your next Cajun celebration. Oysters that are shucked in the colder months instead have a more desirable lean, firm texture and bright briny flavor. In some species, the valves are highly calcified, and many are somewhat irregular in shape. The half sacks we got ran about 20 bucks. Raw, fried, grilled or stuffed…oysters are definitely a staple in Mississippi Gulf Coast restaurants. We lapped these up pretty quickly. 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. 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! Gulf Oysters spawn in the summer, and some think they don't taste as good during this time. It’s best to use Mississippi Gulf Oysters as soon as possible; however, they can stay fresh from 10–14 days when properly refrigerated. 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. When Is Oyster Season? Gulf Region Oysters range from Florida all the way to Louisiana, and the Gulf of Texas. Most of the oysters eaten in the country came from the Gulf of Mexico before the BP oil-spill disaster. 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! There are some fancy ones out there but I got an OXO one for about 8 bucks on Amazon and it served my needs. Now, there are lot of ways to enjoy oysters but first you have to get the stubborn mollusks out. Make Cajun groceries online with CajunGrocer.com. 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 largest remaining oyster reefs in the world are found in Louisiana. We ate these bad boys with some warm crusty french bread. There are so many wonderful places to visit on the Gulf of Mexico that it could keep you busy for a decade of vacations. I am no expert, but I do believe in learning from second hand experiences. Sure, eat Gulf Oysters, but eat them cooked, not raw. "There's just nothing out there for the guys to go harvest." 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. No later data was taken. Also, whiskey goes pretty well with oysters. Raw oysters ("on the half-shell") are not for every palate, but they do attract a devoted following. Here is a picture of some we charbroiled and they were delicious. I fall strongly in the former category and love oysters in all their forms. (Photo: Louisiana state contour against blurred USA flag image by Stasys Eidiejus from Fotolia.com ). *Apalachicola Bay includes St. George Sound, East Bay, Apalachicola Bay, and St. Vincent Sound and their canals, … Like crawfish and crabs, oysters are good social foods when in season. Even before the BP oil spill in the Gulf, Gulf Oyster production had been declining after a series of environmental issues. *Apalachicola Bay includes St. George Sound, East Bay, Apalachicola Bay, and St. Vincent Sound and their canals, … So the best advice if you are heading to the Gulf of Mexico? She has lived one the East Coast and the West, as well as Mexico, Switzerland, Italy and France. Gilhooley's Restaurant. Learn more. As a kid, Hillman’s Seafood & Fish House in Dickinson is where we would go to get our oysters. Nowadays, many of the oysters that are farmed in warmer regions like the Gulf Coast are triploids, which are bred to be sterile. 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. Check out what else we got in the Food and Drink section or Like Us on Facebook! The shellfish anchor themselves to firm things under water like rocks, pilings, boats, tires and bottles. The taste is said to be mild and delicate. 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. Overall, treat yourself on a knife and gloves if you are going to shuck yourself. 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! 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. Current prices are based on Wilson's from Louisiana and Apalachicola's … Texas November 2018 Elections. Taking oysters from a closed area for any reason is prohibited. 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. There was no 2018-19 oyster season on the Alabama coast. FRESH LIVE GULF OYSTERS Live oysters are weighed and inspected before undergoing a pressure washing process where oysters are handpicked for quality assurance. 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. The evidence is is to the left. Fresh: Live Mississippi Gulf Oysters should be stored at 40–45 degrees Fahrenheit. Some people hate 'em. These have a very mild, sweet flavor since they grow quickly (most mature in about eight months) and are full of plump, succulent meat. In our case, my friend picked some up at TH Seafood in Seabrook. Prestige Oysters is one of the nation's leading oyster distributor specializing in fresh, shucked, High Pressure Process and frozen oysters. The best oysters come from Louisiana? 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. Learn more. Most people will tell you that the "r-month rule" doesn't matter … Clean Mississippi Gulf Oyster shells and … If you go out wading in the Gulf, you can see live oysters in places with shallow brackish water like estuaries and sounds. Despite skipping this step I am happy to report with confidence that I was food borne illness free. In other words, because they don’t reproduce, spawning during the summertime is no longer a concern. There are several places throughout Seabrook, Kemah, Dickenson, and Galveston where you can get them. That has local restaurants turning to Texas for gulf oysters … 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. Gulf oysters were first harvested by Native Americans, who had an easier time collecting the relatively stationary shellfish than mobile shellfish like shrimp. Some types of oysters are commonly consumed cooked or raw, and in some locales are regarded as a … The lower salinity levels of the Gulf have protected wild oysters from certain diseases in a way that hasn’t happened in the Chesapeake. Enjoyed this post? Although those findings don't apply to the area as a whole, oil-related issues have prompted no government regulation of oysters. Scientists (funded in part by BP) have found no evidence of higher levels of contamination after the spill in certain tested areas. They tend to be large, tender, meaty, and mild (due … Gilhooley’s Restaurant, located in San Leon, is one of the best spots on … 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. Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. 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 your home state? Transporting oysters at night through closed areas are prohibited. (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? Oysters Apalachicola Bay. Not long ago, the Gulf of Mexico produced most of the oysters in the U.S. Gulf oysters were first harvested by Native Americans, who had an easier time collecting the relatively stationary shellfish than mobile shellfish like shrimp. For someone looking to try oysters this is probably a good gateway to try them. Oysters are typically sold in sacks, which have around 80-100 oysters. No more than 2 sacks of legal oysters may be possessed per person. With docks all along the Gulf coast and over 20,000 acres of private leases in Texas, Louisiana and Florida. Oysters grow like weeds down in the Gulf. Some raw oysters from the Gulf of Mexico carry the flesh-eating Vibrio vulnificus bacteria. 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. 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. "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. 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). 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 On the other hand, your best bet to find fresh Gulf Oysters on the menu is between May and October. Depends on who you ask. They are still natural-set, still wild, more or less, and still affordable–more or less. 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. Spoon-shaped, they are cream-colored or brownish when raw, ivory when cooked. But food is the one thing you might hear us brag about from time to time, because we know it's that good. But the 2019-20 season has been a pleasant surprise, according to conservation officials. 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 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). Best Oysters in Texas Gulf Coast, Texas: Find 107,225 Tripadvisor traveller reviews of THE BEST Oysters and search by price, location, and more. Also, gloves are your friend. Cajun food delivered nationwide. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. You won't hear southerners bragging too often, as it's just not really our style. We are fortunate here in Houston to have easy access to fresh oysters from the Gulf of Mexico. We typically have Florida and Louisiana oysters in stock and offer them by the dozen or by the case.