As many oyster lovers know, you can prepare the briny bivalves in a number of ways. But many also realize that oysters can bring about mixed opinions. Some who try them dislike the texture and instead eat other types of seafood. Others, still, love eating a freshly-shucked oyster from a shell. How you prepare oysters can influence your feelings about the seafood.
However, these days you may find that buying oysters has become increasingly difficult. So, if you happen upon vendors selling the delicacy, it might be worth your while to purchase them.
Why Are Oysters Hard To Find?
The aftermath of Hurricane Ida has significantly fractured parts of the seafood industry. The Category 4 hurricane first struck Louisiana at the end of August. The damage to the industry has exceeded the damage of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. At the time, the hurricane cost the affected seafood businesses more than $1 billion. Now, Hurricane Ida’s destruction poses a familiar problem. No one can say with full certainty how much the 150-mph winds damaged Louisiana’s boats, docks, and processors.
The oyster industry, specifically, was already at a disadvantage. Well before Hurricane Ida, the hurricanes and BP oil spill of 2010 limited oyster production. Later, several years of significant flooding wiped out notable shellfish production areas. The state no longer out-produces others where oysters are concerned.
Who is Affected By the Oyster Shortage?
Owners of Louisiana oyster processing plants have felt the effects of the shortage. It will take some time to fully quantify how much money was lost by not harvesting oysters. However, the processors navigating the plants realize that they will face difficult times in the near future. That, in turn, will translate to ongoing supply shortages for oyster lovers.
Restaurants have also felt the strain of the current oyster shortage. As they began reopening after Hurricane Ida, many of them offered limited menus. For restaurants such as Gris Gris, the customers have come to expect their once popular dishes. These dishes are oyster pie, oysters BLT, and oyster po’boy.
Where To Buy Oysters Online
Despite the oyster limitations down south, you can still purchase oysters online. In fact, you can purchase high-quality jumbo oysters online. The most important thing to remember is that you should check where companies source their oysters. Doing that will help you know what to expect. You can order oysters frozen, live, or raw. You can also order their meat, shucked.
How Long Do Oysters Last?
When you order oysters online, most vendors prefer to ship their product raw. Shipping oysters raw helps to ensure their freshness for a longer period of time. The type of oyster that you buy will determine its shelf life. Generally speaking, you should try to eat oysters in a week.
But, in some cases, you can stock up to circumvent the shortages. You can store a whole oyster in a fridge kept under 40 degrees Fahrenheit for up to a month. Alternatively, you can store your shucked oyster for up to six months in the freezer.
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