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Can One Eat Too Many (Raw)Oysters?

opinionatedchef Jul 30, 2013 09:13 PM

Just wondering. Recently had some fantastic smaller Island Creek (MA) oysters that are still on '$1 each Special', but I thought I'd ask CHs if bad gastric side effects are known to (or could) result from consuming 2 doz. or so. TIA.

  1. Tripeler Jul 30, 2013 09:18 PM

    My brother once joked years ago that he'd "ate a dozen oysters, but only three of them 'worked' ." Go figure...

    For raw oysters, I love the very small ones and could eat at least two dozen of them easily. However, I would be careful after the first dozen because there is a small chance they can turn on you.

    1. Bill Hunt Jul 30, 2013 09:32 PM

      Not sure, but from the Web site of a famous NOLA "oyster restaurant," there are many in their "18 Dozen Club." There must be a physical, human limit, but 18 dozen sounds like a lot to me.

      I was with my mother once, when she ate 6 dozen, and I thought that was an accomplishment. Little did I know.


      1. JonParker Jul 30, 2013 09:54 PM

        I will eat as many as you can put in front of me.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JonParker
          Delucacheesemonger Jul 30, 2013 11:00 PM

          To me, the ultimate luxury is someone shucking them faster than l can eat them.

        2. linguafood Jul 30, 2013 10:48 PM

          Yeah, I don't think you have to worry about 2 doz. 10 dozen might be pushing it.

          But 2 dozen? That sounds like the perfect lunch to me :-)

          1. c
            cstr Jul 31, 2013 04:57 AM

            There is a possibility they could well...erupt, especially if one eats lots and has a probable reaction to them.

            1. C. Hamster Jul 31, 2013 05:04 AM

              I eat 2 or 3 dozen Island Creeks with a glass or tepid wine as dinner sometimes.

              Just make sure you trust your source.

              1. c
                Chefpaulo Jul 31, 2013 05:07 AM

                From the 70's and 80's, seafoodies of Philadelphia will remember The Blue Point Crab House near the Tacony bridge. The menu was very limited but for huge bowls of mussels in red or white sauce, steamed crabs and an amazing raw bar, there was nothing better. And really inexpensive. My regular fare was an appetizer of a dozen raw oysters, a bucket of steamed snow crab claws for the entree, and another dozen oysters for dessert. With a couple of Dortmunder Union beers (their only beer), I was in heaven.

                1. Veggo Jul 31, 2013 05:34 AM

                  My nearby oyster bar in FL has 50 cent oysters on weekends, and I'll usually have 4 dozen when I go. I recall a gentleman from Europe finishing his 7th dozen there a few weeks ago.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Veggo
                    JonParker Jul 31, 2013 06:10 AM

                    .50 oysters? where?

                    1. re: JonParker
                      Veggo Jul 31, 2013 06:19 AM

                      At the 3 Anna Maria Oyster Bar restaurants in Cortez, Bradenton, and Ellenton. The 50 cent special is 2-5 on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. They are cold, fresh, good size, and well shucked without grit or shell pieces. Wild caught from area #28 in Alabama.

                      1. re: Veggo
                        Delucacheesemonger Jul 31, 2013 06:42 AM

                        We will plan to do just that when l arrive in November.

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                          Veggo Jul 31, 2013 06:49 AM

                          Deal. I know you avoid oysters in summer months, but I'm enjoying nice tasty plump ones.

                  2. b
                    Bkeats Jul 31, 2013 05:48 AM

                    Can One Eat Too Many (Raw)Oysters?


                    1. Caroline1 Jul 31, 2013 06:20 AM

                      If it's spoiled or contaminated, ONE raw oyster is too much! Bottom line: Know your resource, as well as your resource's source! But barring a bad oyster, it should be a simple matter of how many you can eat before you're sated. Individual mileage may vary. '-)

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Caroline1
                        Veggo Jul 31, 2013 06:26 AM

                        I have been sickened twice from steamer clams but never from an oyster, and I have eaten a lot of them. Shuckers can generally spot a bad one. I don't know what percentage are bad. I ate 100 one day in Zijuatanejo, my personal record but they were smaller there.

                        1. re: Veggo
                          mucho gordo Aug 1, 2013 11:06 AM

                          I'm sure you know that oysters are supposed to be an aphrodisiac. After eating 100, can you tell us if your craving lasted more than 4 hours?

                          1. re: mucho gordo
                            Veggo Aug 1, 2013 01:37 PM

                            It lasted about 30 years.

                      2. RealMenJulienne Jul 31, 2013 07:12 AM

                        I can tolerate a raw oyster, for politeness's sake, from time to time. The idea of eating 2 dozen or more is making me want to puke up my breakfast. I imagine it's like swallowing a bucket of seawater.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: RealMenJulienne
                          Delucacheesemonger Jul 31, 2013 07:37 AM

                          Thanks for the image, l indeed hope you do puke up your breakfast.

                        2. pinehurst Jul 31, 2013 07:21 AM

                          2 doz? No, not from my experience, assuming (as other posters have wisely opined) that all things are clean and fresh. I have consumed 4 doz oysters/cherrystones (in combination, at a wedding) at once with no ill effects except a gluttonous desire for more. If I could find 2 doz good oysters for a good price in my neck of the woods, I'd happily have them for a summer supper.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: pinehurst
                            Veggo Jul 31, 2013 07:30 AM

                            For 14 straight years, I ate about 100 cherrystones on the patio during the Friday cocktail party at my Boston golf tournament. And a few chilled vodka shots.

                            1. re: Veggo
                              pinehurst Jul 31, 2013 07:31 AM

                              That sounds pretty damn good, V.

                              1. re: pinehurst
                                Veggo Jul 31, 2013 07:35 AM

                                As good as it gets. It was at TCC in Brookline.

                                1. re: Veggo
                                  C. Hamster Jul 31, 2013 07:48 AM

                                  Nice venue!

                          2. c oliver Jul 31, 2013 07:50 AM

                            Here's some data and general info:


                            1. Infomaniac Aug 1, 2013 10:43 AM

                              I would say no, but you might want to know what your blood uric acid level (hyperuricemia) is before consuming, or you could end up with gout. Oysters are high in purines which the body metabolises into uric acid, and a high uric acid level could lead to gout. I've seen it happen recently to two of my very good friends that have never had a problem eating shellfish (oysters and lobsters) and other rich foods, and all of a sudden came down with gout this year.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: Infomaniac
                                c oliver Aug 1, 2013 11:03 AM

                                My husband has occasional episode and it's really, REALLY not fun.

                                1. re: c oliver
                                  Delucacheesemonger Aug 1, 2013 11:47 AM

                                  More than 2-3episodes a year get him on uloric, works perfectly and virtually no side effects.

                                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                    linguafood Aug 1, 2013 12:17 PM

                                    Or allopurinol.

                                    Also -- oysters don't exacerbate uric acid levels. I know that because I looked it up for this particular thread :-)

                                    1. re: linguafood
                                      Infomaniac Aug 1, 2013 01:35 PM

                                      Care to share where you looked it up?

                                      Oysters don't increase uric acid levels however the purines in oysters can increase the uric acid levels.

                                      Oysters may not be the highest food in purines however; it's on every list I've seen on foods to avoid, and the list both my friends were given by their doctors on foods to be careful of.

                                      1. re: Infomaniac
                                        linguafood Aug 1, 2013 01:45 PM

                                        "Oysters don't increase uric acid levels however the purines in oysters can increase the uric acid levels."

                                        That's what I meant. They are not particularly high in purines, compared to many other things like offal, shellfish, red meat, etc.

                                    2. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                      c oliver Aug 1, 2013 03:21 PM

                                      So far it's rare but glad to know. I'll remember this if it increases. Thanks.

                                  2. re: Infomaniac
                                    Delucacheesemonger Aug 1, 2013 11:46 AM

                                    Actually oysters are a low-moderate purine food and compared to beer and sweetbreads are not even on the spectrum.

                                  3. t
                                    tbcucci Mar 25, 2014 04:33 AM

                                    I just had a gout attack (5 DAYS AND COULD NOT PUT A SHOE ON} Could not believe it. Went to the doc. yesterday and he said it was shellfish. I have eaten a lot of oysters lately. My wife and I love oysters raw, steamed, smoked, you name it. We also join with great neighbors and have oyster roasts. I made my own oyster shucking press. This is the only time that I can relate the gout to oysters and so did the doc. I will try the oysters again.

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: tbcucci
                                      jrvedivici Mar 25, 2014 11:36 AM

                                      Allopurinol was a daily medication I was on for years for help in the prevention of gout attacks. Usually once a gout attack is occurring you are going to need something like colchicine or anaprox/naproxen to help treat the attack. Allopurinol isn't as effective once the attack has started.

                                      1. re: jrvedivici
                                        linguafood Mar 25, 2014 11:51 AM

                                        Yeah, I know. It's what my man is on regularly. He hasn't had a bad attack (or any, for that matter) in over 6 years.

                                        1. re: linguafood
                                          jrvedivici Mar 25, 2014 03:07 PM

                                          I was getting them up to 6-7 times a year. My foot, ankle, elbow, wrist all over. That's when they put me on it as a daily medication probably about ten years ago. I started getting attacks at a fairly young age, mid 20's, anyway I took it daily for 2-3 years then just stopped, cold turkey. Since I've stopped I've had maybe 2-3 in the past 5-6 years. NO change to diet I eat steak and seafood at will and drink gallons of vodka a week. If I feel an attack coming on, I take an annoprox or two and it thwarts it. (Knocking on wood)

                                          1. re: jrvedivici
                                            linguafood Mar 25, 2014 03:09 PM

                                            Ouch. Sounds horrible. It's insane how painful that can be. My man had it in both feet once for 3 weeks.

                                            1. re: jrvedivici
                                              Veggo Mar 25, 2014 03:13 PM

                                              I recall an episode of gout in Corpus Christi that was so painful I drove to a hospital and asked that they consider removing my big toe for relief. It's good now.

                                          2. re: jrvedivici
                                            opinionatedchef Mar 25, 2014 02:53 PM

                                            it is so frustrating that meds usually have 2 names, so i could be suggesting the same med as you have, but not know it. Prednisone really helped the gout pain i had in a number of attacks. i take uloric to lower my uric acid count, but even after a few months of it, my level is still too high.

                                            1. re: opinionatedchef
                                              Delucacheesemonger Mar 30, 2014 12:23 AM

                                              Wow, after Uloric mine went from 8.5 to 3.5 in three weeks and now even with half doses still in the 3's

                                        2. coll Mar 25, 2014 11:44 AM

                                          Judging by my husband and his brother, more than a few on an empty stomach and with a few drinks never ends well.

                                          1. q
                                            Querencia Mar 27, 2014 11:41 AM

                                            Raw, I can't say, but I once conducted a week-long scientific experiment in New Orleans to see if it was possible to get tired of fried oysters and I found that it was not. I ordered them at every possible meal. On the last day I nearly met my Waterloo at Brennan's with Eggs Benedict on a bed of fried oysters instead of a muffin. Fried oysters plus poached eggs plus Hollandaise added up to a bit too much of a good thing.

                                            However, I am off your topic. You might care to google "guinness world record oysters" and read about the person who ate 233 raw oysters in three minutes. I guess you'd be okay with a mere 24.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Querencia
                                              opinionatedchef Mar 27, 2014 02:31 PM

                                              hey Q, are you sure that was a person and not an otter ? :-}
                                              And, bad as it was, it's a good thing those Eggs Beni weren't served atop an additional bed -of pork belly!

                                            2. sunshine842 Mar 27, 2014 06:21 PM

                                              the night before a good friend headed off to the Air Force, we went out for nickel beer and nickel oyster night (yeah....I'm dating myself)

                                              We laughed and ate and talked and drank....and were pretty stunned to realize we'd put away 9 dozen oysters between the two of us. No ill effects, other than having overeaten. (not even a hangover!!)

                                              I've since gotten a hold of a bad one...and man, there is no sick like bad-oyster sick. Yet after a year or two, there I am, slurping raw ones again. Thick-headed.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: sunshine842
                                                mudcat Mar 28, 2014 07:00 AM

                                                My grandfather was a Croatian oysterman In Louisiana (Buras and Empire) from1902 until after WWII. He would rub his finger on the inside of the shell of every oyster he would shuck, If it felt slimy he would throw the oyster away. He instructed me that the inside of the shell should fell like wet porcelain but not slimy on a good oyster. I have been doing this for years with no ill effects. I do not recommend that you try this but it has worked for me. Perhaps, the beer or wine I consumed with the raw oysters helped ward off ill effects.

                                                1. re: mudcat
                                                  sunshine842 Mar 28, 2014 12:05 PM

                                                  thanks for that -- it's at least worth a try!

                                                  1. re: mudcat
                                                    opinionatedchef Mar 28, 2014 09:48 PM

                                                    oh my goodness! how DID he end up here? that is so fascinating. Man, his english must have been something- a blend of croatian and cajun accents?!

                                                    1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                      johnb Mar 30, 2014 06:31 AM

                                                      There must have been lots of Croatian oystermen in those days. Isn't Drago, of charbroiled oyster fame, originally from that part of the world? He has his own oyster fleet.

                                                2. g
                                                  GH1618 Mar 30, 2014 01:16 AM

                                                  I had bad Gi distress a couple of years ago, most likely from raw oysters. It isn't the number you eat. One bad oyster will do it. I lost my interest in raw oysters after that episode.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: GH1618
                                                    Tripeler Mar 30, 2014 01:21 AM

                                                    Getting a bad oyster is like having a girlfriend who turns out bad. Quite a nightmare, but you live through it an learn. And eventually you end up with a good girlfriend.

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