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May 31, 2013 05:54 AM

Un-detached oysters?

Ordered a half-dozen oysters at Harvest the other day, and found the meat still attached to the shell on all six. I asked the waitron about it and was told "yes, that's our policy to leave them attached."

Can anyone educate me why a restaurant might choose this? I must admit I'm totally confounded.

(I considered a "get off my back" meaning, but 1. my waitron was obviously invested in my happiness/doing the job well (and _very_ kindly comped a problem dish) and 2. knew the answer already, as if they'd been asked the question before.)

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  1. I took a cooking class at Davios last Saturday and part of the class was learning to shuck oysters. We were taight that after opening the oyster, you remove the oyster from its muscle that attaches it to the shell. I love oysters and have eaten them in numerous places. I have never had the served attached to there shell. How would one remove them? An oyster knife is needed!

    1. A properly shucked oyster or clam should be loose so the meat removes easily. I may expect that from a super buffet but not a restaurant like Harvest.

      1. i have been served poorly shucked oysters that were partly attached, but never a platter full of still-attached. that's idiocy.

        1. I've always been able to get them freed from the shell, with a fork, without too much trouble but I agree that it's a pain when they are served that way.

          Did you eat them or send them back?

          1. Personally, I want my oysters attached..loose but attached.

            I have seen and heard restaurants using canned oysters for Oysters Rock, AYCE oysters at buffets, etc.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Beach Chick

              I prefer my oysters and women unattached. Loose is OK, too.

                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    There are reliable suppliers of shucked oysters for cooking including East Coast and Canada, but its bigger on the Gulf and Pacific. These aren' t the same thing as canned, cooked oysters. And while they aren' t what you want for a raw oyster tasting, they are perfect for fried, carpetbagger steak, etc.

                    What I think you are talking about are frozen oysters on the half-shell. These are pre-shucked, rinsed, and come from far far away... many of them from New Zealand. I wouldn' t want to eat those raw and to me they are completely flavorless. Those buffets who don' t serve oysters which are already shucked, often rinse the oysters in part to hide the bits of shell left from their lousy shucking job. If you want good raw oysters, order them whole and have them shucked in sight.

                    1. re: itaunas

                      But, don't you think, if you're serving cheap frozen oysters, you'd detach 'em so as to make 'em seem more appealing? Otherwise, it's kinda like:

                      "Here's some shitty, prefrozen oysters sent from the other side of the Earth even though we could get 'em from a few miles away. Oh, and we're gonna want you to finish cleaning 'em, OK?"

                      "Ahh, sure, um, thanks?"

                      "Don't mention it. I hope you don't get sick!"