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World's Top 20 Best Oyster Online Stores & Suppliers

Oyster News, Reviews & Resources (30+) Top 20 Best Oyster Online Stores & Suppliers

".... oysters are the only food that never causes indigestion." - Jules Verne.

"I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick, not wounded, dead." - Woody Allen.

"It is unseasonable and unwholesome in all months that have not an R in their names to eat an oyster." - Samuel Butler.

"As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans." - Ernest Hemingway.

The word OYSTER is used as a common name for a number of distinct groups of bivalve molluscs that live in marine or brackish habitats. The valves are highly calcified. Some kinds of oysters are commonly consumed, cooked or raw, by humans as a delicacy. Other kinds, such as pearl oysters, generally not eaten by humans, are harvested for the pearl produced within the mantle.

True oysters are members of the family Ostreidae. This family includes the edible oysters, which mainly belong to the genera Ostrea, Crassostrea, Ostreola, and Saccostrea. Examples include the Belon oyster, eastern oyster, Olympia oyster, Pacific oyster, and the Sydney rock oyster.

Middens testify to the prehistoric importance of oysters as food. In the United Kingdom, the town of Whitstable is noted for oyster farming from beds on the Kentish Flats that have been used since Roman times. The borough of Colchester holds an annual Oyster Feast each October, at which "Colchester Natives" (the native oyster, Ostrea edulis) are consumed. The United Kingdom hosts several other annual oyster festivals, for example Woburn Oyster Festival is held in September. Many breweries produce Oyster Stout, a beer intended to be drunk with oysters that sometimes includes oysters in the brewing process.

The French seaside resort of Cancale is noted for its oysters, which also date from Roman times. Sergius Orata of the Roman Republic is considered the first major merchant and cultivator of oysters. Using his considerable knowledge of hydraulics, he built a sophisticated cultivation system, including channels and locks, to control the tides. He was so famous for this, the Romans used to say he could breed oysters on the roof of his house.

In the early 19th century, oysters were cheap and mainly eaten by the working class. Throughout the 19th century, oyster beds in New York Harbor became the largest source of oysters worldwide. On any day in the late 19th century, six million oysters could be found on barges tied up along the city’s waterfront. They were naturally quite popular in New York City, and helped initiate the city’s restaurant trade. New York's oystermen became skilled cultivators of their beds, which provided employment for hundreds of workers and nutritious food for thousands. Eventually, rising demand exhausted many of the beds. To increase production, they introduced foreign species, which brought disease; effluent and increasing sedimentation from erosion destroyed most of the beds by the early 20th century. Oysters’ popularity has put ever-increasing demands on wild oyster stocks. This scarcity increased prices, converting them from their original role as working-class food to their current status as an expensive delicacy.

Fresh oysters must be alive just before consumption or cooking. There is only one criterion: the oyster must be capable of tightly closing its shell. Open oysters should be tapped on the shell; a live oyster will close up and is safe to eat. Oysters which are open and unresponsive are dead and must be discarded. Some dead oysters, or oyster shells which are full of sand may be closed. These make a distinctive noise when tapped, and are known as 'clackers'.

Oysters can be eaten on the half shell, raw, smoked, boiled, baked, fried, roasted, stewed, canned, pickled, steamed, or broiled, or used in a variety of drinks. Eating can be as simple as opening the shell and eating the contents, including juice. Butter and salt are often added. In the case of oysters Rockefeller, preparation can be very elaborate. Care should be taken when consuming oysters. Purists insist on eating them raw, with no dressing save perhaps lemon juice, vinegar (most commonly shallot vinegar), or cocktail sauce. Upscale restaurants pair raw oysters with a home-made Mignonette sauce, which consists primarily of fresh chopped shallot, mixed peppercorn, dry white wine and lemon juice or sherry vinegar. Like fine wine, raw oysters have complex flavors that vary greatly among varieties and regions: sweet, salty, earthy, or even melon. The texture is soft and fleshy, but crisp on the palate. North American varieties include: Kumamoto and Yaquina Bay from Oregon, Malpeque from Prince Edward Island, Canada, Blue Point from Long Island, New York, and Cape May oysters from New Jersey. Salinity, mineral, and nutrient variations in the water that nurtures them influence their flavor profile.

Note: Oysters should only be eaten when there's an 'r' in the month.

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    Oyster News, Reviews & Resources
  • Oyster Bar Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL, England, U.K.
  • Caviar House Oyster Bar - at Harrods, London, U.K. "In association with Caviar House and Prunier, the Oyster Bar affords the opportunity to sample such legendary offerings as Fines de Claires, Montpelier, Portland Royals, Loch Ryans and Falmouth Oysters, with an expert complement of wines and Champagnes."
  • Chesapeake Bay Oyster Company - "The Oyster Is Our World." We grow our signature Parrot Island Oysters in the shadow of Parrot Island near the mouth of Virginia’s Rappahannock River, one of the Chesapeake Bay’s main tributaries.
  • Citarella - "The Ultimate Gourmet Market." Online store.
  • Coffin Bay Oysters - "Internationally recognised for their quality, flavour and size, Coffin Bay is Australia’s most famous oyster growing location, and recognised seafood brands both nationally and internationally." Buy online.
  • COLCHESTER OYSTER FISHERY - "Suppliers of the Finest Seafood." Our Oysters are truly free-range and live naturally on the seabed rather than being grown in nets and cages above the seabed. We believe this is one of the reasons why our Oysters are some of the best in the world. Feeding from the rich fertile waters in the Pyefleet Creek is what gives them their distinctive flavour.
  • Crabville - since 1982. "Harvesting the best of the Chesapeake Bay."
  • DAVID HERVÉ - "Fine" oysters online. France.
  • Dorset OYSTERs - "Fresh Oysters Online."
  • E. Goodwin & Sons Seafood - "If it swims, we have it!"
  • Farm-2-Market - "Great oysters need a constant exchange of fresh, clean ocean water. And we found just that — along with what just might be the best cultured oyster farms in America."
  • Fine Food Specialist - since 2012. "Buy Fine Foods & Specialty Items." We have hand-picked our favourite oyster species from all corners of the globe for you to enjoy. Oysters are a wonderful seafood delicacy that can be enjoyed at any special occasion with a glass of champagne, or try one of our recipes, such as oysters with Nduja butter to spice them up (find the recipe on our blog).
  • I love blue sea - "Freshest West and East Coast oysters available live in the shell and shucked. Shipped overnight via FedEx. Largest selection of oysters at the lowest prices."
  • Island Creek Oysters - "Buy fresh Island Creek Oysters online. Free overnight delivery. Order today, delivered tomorrow!"
  • Kachemak Shellfish Growewrs Co-op - "Alaskan oysters are among the safest oysters in the marketplace." Buy oysters online!
  • Linton's Seafood - "Fresh Chesapeake Bay oysters delivered from the waters of Maryland and Virginia. Also for sale are shucked, raw, live in the shell or breaded. Shipped mail order."
  • Loch Fyne - online shop.
  • Seattle Fish Company - "From the Docks to your Door!" Buy online.
  • Rappahannock Oyster Co. - online shop.
  • the crab place - "Freshest Chesapeake Bay Oysters." Guaranteed lowest price online.
  • W. Harvey & Sons - since 1955. "Cornish Oysters."
  • WHERE TO ORDER OYSTERS - The Oyster Guide.
  • West Whelks | Whitstable Native Oyster Store - shop online.
  • Wing of st mawes - "The Cornish Fishmonger." Buy fresh oysters online today, for next day UK delivery. Our fresh UK oysters come from the river Fowey in Cornwall.
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