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Oyster (Ostrea edulis)

Oyster
Oyster

Scientific name for Oyster

Ostrea edulis

Common name(s) for Oyster

European oyster, edible oyster, flat oyster, Belon oyster

Market name

Oyster

Other language names for Oyster

  • French: Huître plate
  • German: Auster
  • Italian: Ostrica
  • Japanese: Kaki
  • Spanish: Ostra plana

Introduction to Oyster

European oysters, which were originally cultivated by the Romans, were so valuable that they were carried over the English Channel in snow-covered barrels. Today, they are cultivated off the coasts of New England, California, and Washington state, as well as in France, England, and Norway to a lesser extent. On the East Coast of the United States, oysters are also harvested from the wild. Certain market names, such as Whistable (England), Lymfjord (Denmark), or Zelande (Netherlands), have European roots. European oysters are cultured either on the sea bottom or in suspended systems using trays, mesh bags, or “Chinese hats” (Frisbee-shaped discs). These so-called “flat” oysters have a shallow shell and are collected when they reach a length of three to four inches. Generally, the species is supplied live for the halfshell trade. They are often referred to erroneously as “Belons.” That term is protected by law in France; only oysters produced in the Belon River estuary in Brittany, northern France, have the right to use it.

Product Profile for Oyster

Flat oysters are traditionally thought to have a better flavor than all other oyster species. Their flavor is distinctive, with salty undertones and a sweet to flinty overtone. There’s a faint metallic aftertaste, much like sucking on a penny, which is easily remedied with a glass of white wine. European oysters have a rounder shape compared to Atlantic and Pacific oysters. The shells are flat and have a little cup. The color ranges from white to brown, with a creamy off-white inside. The meat is a light brown to creamy color, complementing the shell lining. Meat that has been cooked turns ivory.

Nutrition for Oyster


Calories: 117
Fat Calories: 37
Total Fat: 4.6 g
Saturated Fat: 1.2 g
Cholesterol: 93 mg
Sodium: 350 mg
Protein: 11.7 g
Omega 3: N/A

Cooking tips for Oyster

Raw European oysters on the halfshell with a spray of lemon and a sprinkle of Tabasco sauce are very tasty. Raw shellfish of any kind, however, is dangerous for those with weakened immune systems. The simpler the procedure, the better when it comes to preparing European oysters. They’re also a fantastic addition to soups and stews because of their rich taste.

Cooking methods for Oyster

Bake , Fry , Grill , Saute , Smoke , Steam

Primary Product Forms for Oyster

Live

Fresh: Halfshell, Shucked (raw meats)

Frozen: Whole, Halfshell, Shucked meats (cooked and uncooked)

Value-added: Smoked

Global Supply for Oyster

Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Ireland, Netherlands, United States, Iran