Today in fake food holiday news, it's National Oyster Day. This despite the old trope that you should only eat oysters during months ending in "r" (modern refrigeration means you can enjoy them much sooner).
Our interest in this bivalve bacchanalia was piqued when we got a press release announcing the Rusty Scupper would donate $0.25 to the Oyster Recovery Partnership for every oyster eaten at the restaurant between now and Friday.
Save oysters by pulling them out of the water and eating them? Apparently so.
Kate Cwiek, marketing manager for the partnership, confirms this is so via email. "ORP's Shell Recycling Alliance collects and recycles oyster shell which is used as substrate to produce baby oysters," she wrote. "Each recycled shell will put 10 new oysters into the Bay." In short, the baby oysters call these old shells home. (And check this out: those shells will soon end up in your beer.)
Executive Director Stephan Abel chimed in: "[M]ost if not all oysters eaten in restaurants this time of year are farm-raised meaning that what consumers are enjoying is not reducing the wild oyster population."
And more oysters in the Chesapeake Bay means cleaner water.
So there you have it, folks. Chuck away today while enjoying specials and know that slurping down the plate of oysters actually helps continue the species.
Speaking of specials, here are a few:
- All three locations of Ryleigh's Oyster are offering buck-a-shucks all day.
- Mt. Washington Tavern is serving up free oysters from 5:30-8 p.m.
- The Oceainaire Seafood Room has $1 chef's select oysters from 5 p.m.-close.
As you may recall from our oyster issue last year, readers voted Thames Street Oyster House as the best in the city, so you might want to head there. Before you do, read up on how experts conduct the Chesapeake Bay oyster survey.