Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Oysters

Tradition and food are intertwined. I know for a lot of folks oyster stew on Christmas or Christmas Eve is a long standing (and to some kids, a highly contested) tradition.

Different theories abound about why oyster love swells this time of year. Some say oysters are better for consumption in the colder months when bacteria levels are lower while some claim it's because spawning season slows down in the colder months. And we've all heard that business about months with R's in them. I say for whatever reason, 'tis the season for this beloved bivalve.

Growing up, Christmas at my house was always celebrated with a nice meal, but oysters were only consumed raw on the half shell at the beach. We've never had them on our holiday menu until quite recently. In the past few years Ned and I have adopted this tradition of oysters on Christmas simply because we like them. Our choice is to enjoy them slightly steamed right on top of warm coals in the fireplace instead of the more traditional stew, but never the less, it seems like a nice tradition to adopt.

This idea is made even more alluring because living in Richmond it's accessible, our choice source is Rappahannock River Oysters. This is a family operation, dating back to 1899, growing only the real deal "Crassostrea virginica, the Chesapeake Bay's native oyster."

Word is you can order online from RRO though the end of the day today for Christmas Eve delivery. After that feel feel to order up some oysters for New Years too- they're super with champagne!


  1. My favorites are the Olde Salts! If you did not already know E.A.T. loves oysters!


  2. Oysters are good this time of year because they hibernate in winter. This means that throughout the fall they've stored up fatty cells to winter-over, making their meats robust and bursting with flavor.