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How to Eat Raw Oysters

Updated on September 27, 2008

Here in the South, raw oysters are a delicacy. Any seafood restaurant worth going to here along the Alabama Gulf Coast features "oysters on the half shell" on its menu. If you have never eaten a raw oyster before, a platter of raw oysters can be a rather intimidating sight.

If you're ready to sample raw oysters for the first time, it's a good idea to learn how to eat raw oysters before you tackle an order of "oysters on the half shell" in a public place.

The phrase "oysters on the half shell" is a descriptive one. When you order this dish, you will receive a platter of oysters that have had the top shell removed. The oyster itself will still be attached to the bottom shell.

To eat a raw oyster you will need to do the following:

1. Pick up one of the oysters by the shell.

2. Use the cocktail fork that comes with your order to detach the oyster from its shell.

3. When you are sure the oyster is no longer attached to the shell, put the edge of the shell against your bottom lip.

4. Slurp the oyster into your mouth.

You know what to do from here! Enjoy your raw oysters!

A few questions you might have:

Should I swallow the oyster or chew it? You should chew it! How else will you know what it tastes like?

Should I use any type of seasoning? Some people like to put seasoning on their oysters before eating them. Popular choices include cocktail sauce, Tabasco sauce, and lemon juice.

Is it safe to eat raw oysters?

People with certain illnesses should avoid eating raw oysters. Additionally, at certain times, dangerous bacteria are found in waters where raw oysters are harvested. Governmental regulatory agencies monitor bacteria levels and from time to times post warnings about raw seafood consumption. Please see Safe Oysters for detailed information about oyster safety.


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  • profile image

    Lonely now very horny 7 years ago

    OMG OMG , i just ate some raw oysters and now i'm making love to my wife 10 times a day.

    Improve your sex life today , eat a raw oyster :P

  • profile image

    OysterLvr 7 years ago

    I love my raw oysters. I am heartbroken over the destruction to the oyster beds here in the Gulf of Mexico. I used to go to my favorite oyster bar and get a dozen plump, gorgeous, luscious oysters for $5.00...and I mean recently, like right before the oil spill. Now none of the restaurants can get the amount of oysters they need to stay in business. If you can get them, they can no longer serve them raw. It will take 20 years to recover the loss of oysters here on the Gulf Coast. So, so sad...not to mention all of the people the oil spill has put out of work. 100 year old companies going out of business with their workers not knowing anything but the oyster business. I guess I'll have to let me husband drag me to Alaska like he's been trying to do because he said the oysters there are HUGE, cold and crisp and I won't ever be the same. :D

  • profile image

    kaka 7 years ago

    oysters are filter feeders..

  • profile image

    bob sausage 7 years ago

    take it easy Paul, oysters are delicious

  • profile image

    Paul Puckett 7 years ago

    It is amazing to me how many seemingly intelligent and educated (there is a difference) people who have been duped by the seafood industry, restaurants, and close friends who like to eat raw oysters. It does not take a rocket scientist to understand that an uncooked oyster in the

    shell has raw sewage in his stomach from the other ocean creatures . Imagine scraping the fish droppings from the bottom of an aquarium an placing it on a cracker and consuming it!!! Appetizing??? That's what fills the stomach of a raw oyster. When I have enlightened two of my brothers-in-law (who are both doctors), they each stopped eating raw oysters. A case of educating the intelligent!!!

  • profile image

    Tiana 7 years ago

    I never had raw oysters before and I was scared to try them. But today I tried them for the first time today I took a very deep breath first before I did but it was really good. Never judge a book by its cover.

  • profile image

    lightwink 7 years ago

    man i really wanna try these :(

  • profile image

    swiss cheese 7 years ago

    im trying oysters this weekend for the first time, hope i can hang with it. cant wait to see if this afrodesiac thing is true too.

  • profile image

    theflash 7 years ago

    Raw oysters are truly one of God's major creations! Lemon juice, salt and horseradish.......and the incredible part is that I can buy them at a a local chain seafood house for $3.95 a dozen here in the desert southwest....New Mexico!

  • Megavitamin profile image

    Megavitamin 8 years ago

    I've only had raw oysters once a few years ago, but I'm on vacation and decided to have them again. This article was a great refresher!

  • profile image

    Emily 9 years ago

    We're having an "What would you do with 4 Dozen Free Oysters?" Contest and seeking recipes, ideas, oyster tips, etc. Check it out at The prize is 48 fresh Puget Sound Oysters.

  • profile image

    Art 9 years ago

    I never had OysterBut I am going to try it soon for the first time.Then I will share it with you.I like it or not either way I will do It.I am sur I can do it.


  • gss profile image

    gss 9 years ago from Florida

    I love oysters. Nice hub. Thanks.

  • profile image

    Ruth 9 years ago

    I had to be ripped at a Christmas party to try raw oysters for the first time. I LOVE them. But, I put an unconscionable amount of seasonings on them. They are a bit bland otherwise, but delicious with the following combinations, but just a dot of each: Fresh lemon, cocktail sauce, tabaso, horseradish. You can even give just a touch of salt. I don't do crackers but add everything directly to the oyster. Pure ambrosia, believe me. Fresh, flavorful, delicious. Oh, and make sure they're very cold.

  • Aphroditei profile image

    Aphroditei 9 years ago

    I like raw oysters with a squeeze of lemon. And I think their aphrodisiac property are more related on the appearance of the oyster...because it looks like a, and then the way you eat it. That's what some doctors

    Seafoods are very nutritious too. They are rich in Iodine. And here in the Philippines, we only avoid selling and eating oysters, clams, mussels...etc when there is "Red tide". It is an algal bloom caused by a specie of Dinoflagellate which produced a harmful toxin which gets stored in shellfishes. This toxin makes the shellfishes harmful for human consumption. So, it is always the first thing we ask here when we buy seafoods. If there is a "Red tide". But aside from that, they are still very very delicious.

    Great article Mgwhite! Love it! Looking forward to your recipes...(^^,)

  • bluewings profile image

    bluewings 9 years ago from Milkyway

    Interesting hub.Hope to eat raw oysters as they should be eaten some day.

  • vreccc profile image

    vreccc 9 years ago from Concord, NH

    I tried raw oysters in Virginia Beach. They were ok, but nothing that had me coming back for more. I do like the hub, however. Nice work!!

  • profile image

    Craig Wiggins 9 years ago

    It's also an aphrodisiac!!!

  • thisayakorn profile image

    thisayakorn 10 years ago from Bangkok

    I love raw oyster. Lemon juice is good. Other sauces tend to cover the oyster taste specially tabasco.

    Do some Eastern food, by the way.

  • mgwhite profile image

    Mary White 10 years ago from Mobile, AL

    Try my shrimp recipe hubs ...

  • thecounterpunch profile image

    thecounterpunch 10 years ago

    I hate Raw Oysters don't you have some cooked recipes for them I need to eat seafood :)