We were enjoying some awesome oysters yesterday, and there’s something I’ve always wondered about: Are they oysters still alive when they’re on the half-shell? I’ve never seen them move. You’d think if they were still alive they’d react when you squeeze the lemon on them or apply the horseradish and cocktail sauce.
Unless you see they are cooked, yes the oysters are alive when you eat them.
If you eat raw oysters, you will see an open shell. If you tap on it, the oyster will close the shell. Then it is safe to eat the oyster. If you tap on an open shell and it doesn’t close the oyster is dead and it is not safe to eat.
All of the oysters (in shells) I see at the store have their shells closed.
I like the lemon for extra flavour. The oysters themselves were very tasty though. I asked where they came from, but I don’t remember the name. Someplace on Puget Sound, anyway. I really should get a shellfish license. There are oysters at Birch May State Park, and I’m told they’re especially easy to gather after a storm.
Every oyster I’ve seen always has it shell closed regardless. Actually as I come to think of it, if the shell is closed it’s alive and fresh, if it’s open its dead and ought to be tossed. I think. I admit I’m not positive. I’m sure it’s true of mussels at least.
Also, and I could be wrong again (probably am), but I think that the trauma of shucking an oyster actually kills the little buggers.
Yes, unless cooked the oysters are alive. But they have no brain and only a rudimentary nervous system and aren’t likely to ‘feel’ much pain. Unlike Colibri I’ve squirted lemon juice on many an oyster and applied horseraddish and cocktail sauce to many others, and I’ve stabbed most of them with those little oyster forks like you do if you don’t slide them out of the shell into your mouth, and I’ve yet to see any reaction at all.
The shells are always closed.
Some of the tastiest oysters (IMHO) are from Apalachicola. (And I hope, given the situation, they have the chance to stay that way.)
If we are not going to eat them right away, we store them in the 'fridge with the bag open wide because they are indeed still alive and need to breathe.
If we eat them raw we might have a tiny bit of hot sauce and/or cocktail sauce with horseradish, but not too much. I love them roasted, though.
And yes, we do chew–they are to be savored.