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Best deals for retail oysters

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I have a friend who is learning to shuck oysters in preparation for a party and wants a large number of oysters to practice on. Any ideas of where to get them or suggestions of places that have deals if you are buying several dozen?

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  1. I have been buying 1-2 dozen at a time at Whole Foods in Bedford, for 99 cents each. I believe all the Whole Foods have the same price but I know that there is pretty good turn-over at Bedford. I did get one batch, of Wellfleets I believe, that were not fresh, but all the others were very fresh and sweet.

    9 Replies
    1. re: powerfulpierre

      $0.99 per oyster is no bargain, unshucked, at retail.

      1. re: StriperGuy

        Granted Whole Foods is not cheap. So, back to cassoulady's question, where would you go for a couple of dozen or more?

        1. re: powerfulpierre

          Gosh, this came up at some point and someone on chowhound mentioned a place to buy them wholesale. I just searched and can't find it....

          1. re: StriperGuy

            I know from Island Creek you can get 100 oysters for $100. I thinik for this purpose, cheaper would be best since this is really to practice shucking ( or course we will be eating them too).

            1. re: StriperGuy

              Cape Cod Shellfish on Fish Pier, but I don't believe they will sell a couple dozen. Has anyone sighted the Wellfleet oyster man at the Davis Farmer's Market? His uglies would be the ticket that cassoulady is looking for and usually shows up in the August timeframe. Since the desire is to practice, you might do slightly better somewhere which sells them by weight and asking to pick out the smallest. Not certain, though, that its going to be worth the extra gas driving around because you aren't going to find oysters for $.25 each. BTW restaurants which offer them for $1/pc are offering them as a loss-leader.

              1. re: itaunas

                Cape Cod Shellfish won't sell a few dozen. Minimum of 100.

                1. re: 9lives

                  I volunteer to help eat 100...

                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    now we're talking! we might need some help. bring some bubbly!

                    the knife was just purchased so this will be done soon!

                    1. re: cassoulady

                      Hmmmm, think I did have some Cliquot in the fridge...

      2. I'm not positive but Pangea may be able to help you.

        www.pangeashellfish.com

        1. On this point, if you're looking for variety (to practice with), the Medford Whole Foods is the best! They usually have about 10 different kinds from New England. Maybe shapes and sizes to practice with!

          1 Reply
          1. re: cookg

            When you say 10 kinds, are the all the basic eastern oysters just from different localities? Do they by any chance have Belons (flats) or other oyster varieties?

          2. here is the list of oyster farmers- maybe you can negotiate a deal and they will sell you a whole bunch cheap??
            http://www.massaqua.org/Fish%20and%20...

            1. Market Basket Chelsea has them for $4.99 a pound

              I got 26 for $10

              4 Replies
              1. re: ac106

                Now you're talkin'; good tip.

                1. re: ac106

                  But - do they know how to select them? Tapping them together, etc, making sure they sound solid?

                  Nothing worse than opening dry oysters....

                  1. re: okra

                    Hey at 26 for $10 a few dry ones is a small price to pay.

                    1. re: StriperGuy

                      Plus the Tobin toll :) Didja go to Katz while you were there?

                2. I'm in the same position, needing a few dozen oysters -- and though I agree with striperguy that 99 cents doesn't sound like much of a bargain, I'm not finding better prices when I call around. I'm right in the city, so Market Basket is a little far for me. Yankee Lobster is $1.50 per oyster (unshucked, seriously!), Hook is $1.25, and Morse Seafood I believe is also $1.50. Whole Foods starting to look like the bargain of this bunch.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: secondbreakfast

                    I have also bought them from Chelsea MB, but wasn't certain what they came to. But other per-lb places I was hinting to above is Captain Boston (I've averaged from $.50-$.75 buying by weight, but tending towards larger oysters) and Courthouse close to $.75. Both of these you could call to find the current price per-lb, but they generally only carry one variety (Captain I think West Coast Oysters, Courthouse more likely local). Keep an eye on the Davis Farmer's market reports to see if the Oyster guy shows up, he took email addresses to know other dates he was delivering (such as thanksgiving after the market closes). Worth it for the normal oysters as well as a discount for uglier ones.

                  2. D'oh - missed this long thread here:
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/708534

                    and here:
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/623581

                    1. thanks for all the ideas, i am going to call around. Maybe I can gather some folks to BYOO, they bring the oyster, we shuck, you eat, we get practice.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: cassoulady

                        I don't need any practice shucking oysters... just need practice eating them.

                      2. We're going through oyster withdrawl and want to purchase them either shucked in their liquor (for frying) or whole to get them shipped overnight. Suggestions?

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: itryalot

                          Any good fish store, certainly New Deal, can get you a tub of pre-shucked oysters.

                          1. re: StriperGuy

                            I don't think itryalot is in the area SG. Legal Seafoods ships 'em. About $20/dozen. I don't know if they're shucked.

                            1. re: justbeingpolite

                              Pretty much any good fishmonger anywhere should be able to track down a tub of shucked oysters. $20 a dozen from legal's is unshucked. The shucked ones are sold by the pint or quart.

                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                How about something like this:
                                http://www.normbloomandson.net/Oyster...
                                Nice photo!

                                1. re: justbeingpolite

                                  Great prices, those are all unshucked, but is does say shucked coming soon.

                          2. re: itryalot

                            Island Creek's are some of the best in this area.
                            http://www.islandcreekoysters.com/sto...

                            1. re: T.Clark

                              Yah, again I don't think they do shucked. Those are unshucked.

                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                OP stated shucked or whole.

                              2. re: T.Clark

                                If you are willing to drive to Duxbury, Bennets Lobster handles Island Creek retails sales. You need to call them in advance. I picked up a 100 count bag for $70 a couple weeks ago... super fresh and delicious.

                                1. re: I QUE

                                  They also seeded a community oyster bed that you can dig your own.....those are free.

                                  1. re: I QUE

                                    Nice.

                                    1. re: StriperGuy

                                      Very. And a sweet spot just over Powder Point bridge on the inside bay parallel to Dux Beach. It was seeded last year and I know some friends who have done OK but I suspect next year will be better and every year after more so. Nice People, nice spot, nice of them to give back. I suspect if the OP called Bennett seafood 781-934-0442 they may pre-shuck (kind of a waste for this quality oyster) or reccomend one of the growers who would if you gave em some lead time.