When you go to buy oysters online, all of the available choices can be overwhelming. It is hard to know where to start and which oysters to try, especially if you have never purchased oysters online. We put together this guide to help you navigate the online oyster scene and pick out a great selection of oysters for you to enjoy. Once you know what to look for and what you like, buying oysters online is a breeze.
Variety of Oysters to Buy Online
There are over 200 varieties of oysters. Each online store will have their own offering of oyster varieties. Broadly, there are Pacific and Atlantic oysters. Every variety of oyster has their own flavor profile and unique taste, depending on the water in which growers cultivated them.
Instead of sorting through all the options to find one to buy, it is best to pick a sampling of oysters. This way, you can compare the taste of the different kinds and identify which ones you like best. When you buy oysters online, the seller should provide a good description of the flavor of the oysters and their origins. You can use these descriptions to build a nice mix of oysters. As you start to taste more oysters, you will get better at describing the taste and develop preferences.
Ways You Can Buy Oysters Online
You can generally find oysters in three forms online: unshucked, shucked, and prepared. The most common options are unshucked and shucked. The availability and selection of each depends on the oyster season.
- Unshucked Oysters: Unshucked oysters ship fresh to your door still alive and in their shell. Online sites typically sell them by the dozen. Unshucked oysters are the most popular way to buy oysters, as part of their enjoyment is shucking them yourself and eating the oyster straight from the shell.
- Shucked Oysters: If you are looking to save some time, you can also buy shucked oyster online. Online sellers package the unshelled oyster meat in pint containers. Shucked oysters are a great option if you only need the oyster meat for a recipe and do not want to shuck the oysters yourself.
- Prepared Oysters: Some online stores offer smoked oysters or otherwise prepared oysters. This option is not as common.
How Many Oysters You Should Buy?
If you are planning to enjoy oysters with friends and family, you will need to know how many oysters to buy for your group size. You should plan for about 6 oysters per person. This number applies if you are planning on an oyster appetizer. However, you can always err on the side of having more, especially if you are hosting people who really enjoy oysters.
Most of the time when you buy oysters online, sellers pack oysters by the dozen or in bulk amounts like 50 or 100 oysters. The bulk amounts are convenient if you want one variety of oyster for a large group. But, if you want to sample a few finds of oysters, ordering by the dozen works well, too.