The bivalves are available all year, but they’re best eaten in the colder months from September to April. While a long-standing myth says oysters should not be eaten during months that do not contain an “R” (May through August), oysters generally are thin in the summer because they devote their energy to reproducing.
iStockPhoto Oysters are extremely rich in zinc, which is essential for testosterone production and maintenance of healthy sperm. And even though women have much less testosterone than men, it also plays a key part in the female libido. Oysters also boost dopamine, a hormone that increases libido in both men and women.
The rule dates back to the days before refrigeration when oysters could spoil quickly. These days, you can enjoy oysters throughout the year, but it is still important to know in which months oysters are in season and where you can get the tastiest oysters that won’t leave you feeling ill.
During the summer, unrefrigerated (or un-iced) oysters spoil more easily, the bacteria that cause food sickness are more rampant, and oysters are spawning.
If it’s a black mark / bump or bubble on the inside of the shell, which is not removable, it is known as a “mud blister.” This is a defensive barrier against the parasite (Polydora ciliata) which attempts to bore into the oyster shell.
As most oyster spots offer up their wares in sixes, by the half or full dozen, a good rule of thumb is six oysters per person at the table.
An aphrodisiac. But oysters don’t make you a sex machine. It’s a just a myth. There is simply no scientific evidence that these tender sea dumplings help maintain erections, improve stamina, or enhance arousal.
According to its manufacturers, Spanish Gold Fly is a “100 per cent natural and herbal” female aphrodisiac, which leads to “a volcanic eruption of ultimate passion and a feeling of intense sexual desire and lust”.
“When you slurp back oysters raw, they are still alive or just freshly killed or shucked prior to serving, which is why you oftentimes see them on ice,” says Alex Lewis, RD, LDN, a dietitian for Baze. This ensures they are fresh when eating, so they maintain the right flavor profile, texture and nutrient density.
Foodie tradition dictates only eating wild oysters in months with the letter “r” — from September to April — to avoid watery shellfish, or worse, a nasty bout of food poisoning. Now, a new study suggests people have been following this practice for at least 4,000 years.
Although France is normally the first place that springs to mind for the world’s best oysters, the Delta de l’Ebre, situated between Barcelona and Valencia, it a top contender. The oysters are said to have a unique flavour as they combine the saltiness of the Mediterranean with the sweet freshness of the River Ebro.
How many oysters should you eat? As most oyster spots offer up their wares in sixes, by the half or full dozen, a good rule of thumb is six oysters per person at the table.
The original advice is that you should only eat oysters in the eight months of the year that contain the letter “R” in the name, which means September through April. The other four months of the year — May through August — are off limits. Jacobsen says, “ Oysters spawn in summer, when water temps are at their warmest.
Many, but not all oysters are in the superfamily Ostreoidea. Some types of oysters are commonly consumed cooked or raw, and in some locales are regarded as a delicacy. Some types of pearl oysters are harvested for the pearl produced within the mantle.
An old rule of thumb warns that shellfish should be avoided during months with no R’s—May, June, July, and August—exactly the season that many of us are heading for the shore and eager to sample the fruits of the sea.