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Oyster Fun Facts

Oysters aren’t really an aphrodisiac.


Wait… what?!


Well, to be fair, I guess they could be… but honestly, no one really knows. It seems those crazy scientists have been way too busy with global warming and electric cars to test the theory, so all we have to go on is speculation.


Now that being said, oysters have boatloads of zinc… like, boatloads… and severe cases of zinc deficiency can lead to impotence in men. So based on the theory of deductive reasoning, if less zinc equals less nookie, then more zinc means more, right?!


Really hoping the scientists figure out the whole global warming thing so we can get back to the stuff that matters.

The same type of oyster tastes different depending on where it was raised.


True story.  Eastern (or American) Oysters can be found up and down the coast from Canada to Argentina, and you can bet your britches not a one tastes the same.


Why? Oysters are site specific, just like a pinot noir.  May River Oysters here in sunny South Carolina are bursting with brininess, while northern, cold water oysters typically have a sweeter meat.  Some are even known to have a nut-like flavor, which just seems weird to me.

It's OK to eat oysters in "non-R" months.


Check out this plethora of information!  The "don't eat oysters in months without R's" started as a rule back in the day… as in, before modern refrigeration was invented… because it was super difficult to keep them from spoiling in hot weather.  Nowadays we don’t eat them in “R” months because oysters spawn during warmer weather and a) reproduction is generally considered to be a good thing, and b) oysters are meatier and just plain-old taste better in the cooler months (think of bear getting fat for the winter to hibernate… same, same). 


The good news is that modern oyster-farming has alleviated some of those issues, which is why you can find meaty, flavorful oysters on the tables of restaurants throughout the summer months.

The pearls in your necklace didn’t come from an oyster.


Shocking, right?  (Don’t worry, it’s a common misconception.)  


When a foreign object, like a single grain of sand, becomes entrapped inside an oyster shell, the oyster gets irritated and produces nacre, a combination of calcium and protein. The nacre coats the foreign material and over time produces a pearl. 


The oysters we eat are perfectly capable of producing pearls, but when you hear the term “pearl oyster,” it’s actually in reference to a saltwater bivalve that’s a distinct species from edible oysters.  In fact, cultured pearls used in jewelry are more commonly produced by clams and mussels, not oysters as generally believed. 

Pea crabs are delicious.


Ever pop open an oyster and find a tiny, translucent crab inside?  Well then you hit the jackpot, my friend! 


Pea crabs are itsy, bitsy crabs that have evolved to live harmoniously inside an oyster's shell, feeding off the nutrients the oyster gathers for itself.  Since pea crabs are more prevalent in areas of high salinity, you’re almost guaranteed to find a few per bushel in these waters; whereas on the north side of the Chesapeake Bay, their scarcity is more like 1 in every 10,000 wild oysters. 


If you’re lucky enough to find one – eat it! They have a sweet, briny taste… let’s call it “essence of lobster.”  And of course, since it’s such a small morsel, consider it a quick and easy entry into the wonderful world of Bizarre Foods. 

Oysters are linked with eternal love.


In Greek mythology, the goddess Aphrodite emerged from an oyster, giving our favorite bivalve a reputation that was tough to beat.  Ancient Romans even traded them for gold.  Now where's that exchange rate in modern times?!

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