Are Oysters Alive Or Dead When Served?


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Oysters should always be tested to see if they are alive ,whether you plan to eat them right away or cook them. When you open them you can see if they move by touching the edge of them. Reject any that do not move.

To serve oysters raw after doing the appropriate test serve them in one of the open shells with the strained juice from the opened oysters. Serve with slices of lemon around the platter. A dish of finely chopped shallots and vinegar is usually also provided. These are used not only for flavouring but to enable them to be tested again before consumption. (When the oyster comes in touch with the lemon or vinegar).

Cooked oysters are obviously dead.

Many years ago I took my darling Mother with me to French friends to celebrate New Year. Knowing the first platter would most likely be oysters I told her she would not offend our hosts if she did not eat them. To my surprise my mother took three, then another three, then another.

Going back in the car I commented on it and she retorted - they were cooked a lot better than yours! Of course I gave a huge grin and on seeing it my mother said - were the alive! I grinned further and she retorted - I saw one move but I thought it was my eyes!

Thank you for asking this question about oysters - it brought back happy memories.

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