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Oyster (Crassostrea virginica)


Scientific name for Oyster

Crassostrea virginica

Common name(s) for Oyster

Atlantic or Eastern oyster, cove oyster, American oyster

Market name


Other language names for Oyster

  • French: Huître Américaine
  • German: Amerikanische Auster
  • Italian: Ostrica della Virginia
  • Japanese: Kaki
  • Spanish: Ostra Virginiana

Introduction to Oyster

Unlike the rest of the globe, where the Pacific oyster has mostly supplanted local oysters, America retains its indigenous oyster, the same one that nourished the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. Eastern oysters now account for two-thirds of the national oyster crop. While the majority of Pacific oysters are farmed, the majority of Eastern oysters are collected from wild beds in the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, they are cultivated in Long Island Sound and some areas of Atlantic Canada. Due to the unique conditions connected with each grow-out location — nutrient levels in the water, salinity levels, and temperature — oysters vary in flavor from region to region and often carry the name of the place in which they were produced to identify their distinct flavor characteristics. Long Island Sound, for example, is home to the famous Blue Point. Additionally, there are the Chincoteagues, Apalachicolas, and Cape Cods, each with its own distinct personality. Oysters are collected with dredges or tongs from brackish, shallow water. Markets are typically 3 to 4 inches in diameter.

Product Profile for Oyster

The Eastern oyster is noted for its meaty texture and unique salty flavor. Oyster meats, which are a little fatty, should be smooth and served with plenty of liquor (store cup-side down to retain the liquor). Eastern oysters have a relatively deep, elongated, rough, spoon-shaped shell with rose-colored streaks that is gray-white to gray-brown in hue. A light-colored fringe (the gill) and creamy to light-brown flesh can be found inside. Meat that has been cooked turns ivory. Tap the shell to see whether it’s alive; it should shut. The presence of a sulfur odor suggests the presence of a dead oyster. The liquid used to bag fresh shucked oysters should be transparent.

Nutrition for Oyster

Calories: 137
Fat Calories: 44.1
Total Fat: 4.9 g
Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
Cholesterol: 105 mg
Sodium: 422 mg
Protein: 14.1 g
Omega 3: 1.2 g

Cooking tips for Oyster

Oysters are delicate animals. They should never be heated for too long or too rapidly. They’re finished as soon as the mantle begins to curl. Try Oysters Rockefeller, which are grilled in their shells on salt pans and topped with bacon, breadcrumbs, butter, and scallions for a traditional appearance. Despite the fact that oysters are frequently served on the halfshell, persons in high-risk groups should avoid eating raw shellfish.

Cooking methods for Oyster

Bake , Fry , Grill , Saute , Smoke , Steam

Primary Product Forms for Oyster


Fresh: Halfshell, Shucked meats

Frozen: Whole, Halfshell, Shucked meats

Value-added: Smoked, Canned, Breaded, Fritters

Global Supply for Oyster

Canada, France, Spain, United States, Iran