Maryland Dining Guide How To Shuck & Eat An Oyster
Did you know that Southern
Maryland is the Oyster Shucking Capitol of the World? Every year people come from
all over the world to attend the Oyster
Festival and enter the National Oyster Shucking Championship, held right at the
Leonardtown Fairgrounds. Sure, its a lot easier to buy a pint of oysters at the
seafood market already shucked, but here's your chance to impress your friends with your
knowledge of local traditions. Who knows - maybe you could be a champion shucker
an oyster knife or any sturdy blunt knife
a small towel
Neosporin (because you probably ran out of Bactine
cocktail sauce (if you're having them fried or broiled)
not a darn thing (if you're eating them raw)
Okay, maybe some lemon wedges.
First step: Hold
the oyster firmly in one hand, knife in the other. Slip the knife blade between the
top and bottom shell right by the hinge on back. The person in this picture is
holding the oyster with her bare hands - WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS! Drape a towel
over your open palm and hold the oyster that way - the shell ridges are sharp!
Run the knife the way around the oyster until you get to the other side. This sounds
easy until you're actually doing it! Some oysters just don't take kindly to people
sticking knives in their shell. Be brave and put some muscle into it, but be careful
- this is where you'll cut or stab yourself.
Step 3: Using a twisting
motion, pry the top and bottom shells apart. Be gentle but firm so you don't lose any of
the liquor inside.
Step 4: Cut the oyster
free from his shell. He'll be connected by a tough knob on his underside; slide your
knife under and sever it. You can either go to the trouble of setting down your
blade and using a little fork to pick the oyster out, or you can do like the natives do
and just scoop him with your knife and pop him in your mouth. Drink the liquor out
of the shell.
oysters is a little more gratifying than picking crabs because there's less work and more
meat. Some will disagree about the level of difficulty in parting an oyster with
his shell, but if you do it right you can escape with your hands still intact and a nice
lump of oyster in your tummy! For more information on Oysters in
please visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resource's (DNR) information