Oysters

In Season from September to April.

Method

The old-fashioned plan of feeding oysters with a sprinkling of oatmeal or flour, in addition to the salt and water to which they were committed, has long been rejected by all genuine amateurs of these nutritious and excellent fish, who consider the plumpness which the oysters are supposed to gain from the process, but poor compensation for the flavour which they are sure to lose. To cleanse them when they first come up from the beds, and to keep them in good condition for four or five days, they only require to be covered with cold water, with five ounces of salt to the gallon dissolved in it before it is poured on them; this should be changed with regularity every twenty-four hours. By following this plan with exactness they may be kept alive from a week to ten days, but will remain in perfect condition scarcely more than half that time. Oysters should be eaten always the instant they are opened. Abroad they are served before the soup in the first course of a dinner, arranged usually in as many plates as there are guests at table. In England they are sometimes served after the soup A sense of appropriateness must determine how far the variations of fashion should be followed in such matters.

Obs.—We were accustomed formerly to have the brine which was supplied to oysters intended to be kept for some days, changed twice in the twenty-four hours; but we were informed by an oyster merchant in an extensive business that once was sufficient.