Oysters would have to be one of my favourite things to eat, and the only way I eat them is freshly shucked.
Freshly shucked compared to pre-shucked are worlds apart, once they are shucked the oyster dies and all the sea water that nourished them is also lost, as generally pre-shucked are rinsed to remove any gritty parts from the oyster shell.
Freshly shucked they are full and plump, depending on the variety, either Pacific or Sydney Rocks will determine their creaminess and overall flavour. Retaining the water that sustained the oysters is crucial to the flavour & texture of both the marine and brackish varieties of oysters.
Pacific oysters were introduced to Australia in the 1940’s from Japan and are creamier than Sydney Rocks and generally a bit larger.
Sydney Rocks are slightly darker in appearance, are native to Australia and more metallic in flavour, and I personally love these the most! But overall a freshly shucked oyster reflects the waters where it matured, taking up to 12 months to 4 years (species dependent) to be sent to market. The water must be in good health for the oyster to thrive, therefore a good indicator of estuary health.
Rock oysters are at their best from January to April, & October to December, Pacific varieties at their best from May till September.
Oysters are an easy way to increase your zinc levels, 6 oysters will give you approximately 19 milligrams of zinc, compared to eating 120g of beef which provides 6 milligrams. So, 3-4 oysters has gotta be the most delicious way I know to reach your daily intake.
The recommended intake for adolescents during growth periods-
• male=13 mg/day
• female =7 mg/day.
The recommended intake for grown-ups-
• men-14 mg/day
• women- 8 mg/day
Zinc losses may occur from infection, a diet low in wholefoods, stress, acute trauma, lack of absorption due to low stomach acid (low zinc), age, severe cases may lead to hair loss, flaky skin, growth impairment, low appetite and sex drive.
Overall, zinc is crucial for enzyme activity in your body, production of genetic material, liver function, thyroid, sleep, moods, wound healing, digestion……. The list is endless….
Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/zinc
- My favourite vinaigrette to eat with freshly shucked oysters-sauce mignonette:
1 dozen oysters
90ml good quality red wine vinegar (forum is the best)
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 eschallot, peeled, very finely chopped
pinch sea salt