We all know the piece of advice when it comes to eating oysters: don’t eat oysters in the months that don’t contain an R, that is, the months from May through August. And yet, millions of restaurants around the world serve oysters all the year round, and the millions of people who eat them irrespective of season don’t seem to be any worse off for it. So that kind of busts the myth of there being a right season for eating oysters. But, that being said, we all know that food should be eaten fresh so that in turn does mean that there is actually a right time to eat oysters. So without further ado, let us put this dilemma to an end and find out what the right season is to consume those delicious oysters.

best time of year to eat oysters

Winter oysters

Actually, there is some sense in the old saying that oysters should be given a rest in the months from May to August. These are usually the warmest months of the year in any part of the world, and this is the time that the oysters spawn, hence literally needing the rest. Now, even if we turn a blind eye to the oyster population’s well-being, our culinary expectations would have remained sadly unmet in the olden times had we chosen to eat oysters in those warm climates. That is because the oyster becomes flimsy and malnourished when it reproduces, and do not taste as good as they usually do. Besides, refrigeration was not always there, and in the pre-refrigeration era, the hot weather did nothing to improve the taste and texture of the animals that are usually consumed raw.

Food is safer

Today, however, things have changed considerably, and there are a variety of reasons for that. To begin with, we have refrigeration. This means that restaurants that serve oysters all the year round are taking their products from the refrigerated stock, and we do not have a chance of getting food poisoning, fresh or otherwise. We also have better food safety practices, and restaurants and suppliers have to follow stringent guidelines: the oysters have to be refrigerated the moment that they are fished out of the water, and must be served right out of the refrigerator on to your plate.

Better farming procedures

Farming and harvesting procedures have also taken a major leap from a few decades earlier, and strict guidelines are in place to ensure that oysters are completely safe to eat. Areas with a high occurrence of red tides, which contains toxic algae that are consumed by oysters, are avoided by oyster farmers. The water quality is also stringently tested for pollution and bacterial infestation, ensuring that only the oysters from the cleanest waters are served to the customers.

Also read: Best time to eat crabs

Both winter and summer

That being said, however, it still cannot be denied that oysters taste best in the winter months. This is the time when the baby oysters become full grown and ripe for consumption. However, plenty of oysters are also farmed in warmer climates, and these cultivars are equally tasty. In a nutshell, it is best to eat oytsres that are in season, be it winter or summer oysters.

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