Smoked Oysters

Appears in

Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

By A D Livingston

Published 2010

  • About
At the time this was written the Food and Drug Administration was considering a ban on the sale of oysters on the half-shell. It’s hard for me to imagine doing without oysters in the fall. I still eat them, and will continue to do so as long as I can buy them from a reputable dealer. I don’t know what led it to consider the ban, but my hope is the FDA would make certain of its facts before prohibiting such a delicacy. (sometimes government agencies do crazy things, such as trying to ban lead fishing sinkers under ½ inch in diameter on the grounds that they harm birds. A sinker of this size might do harm to a seagull when slung out by surf casters, but that’s the only way.) My concern about banning oysters on the half-shell is that it will surely kill the method of shipping fresh oysters in this country. When taken alive, they can be put into burlap bags and shipped in refrigerated trucks. When the consumer buys them, the oysters are still alive and still contain the salt water from the bay. Thus, they can be the freshest of all seafoods, along with clams and mussels. If they are shucked and put into containers before shipping, they will be dead and rather milky in color, and will lack the flavor of the sea.