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Rinsing oysters ???

  • t

Why in the world would you ever rinse an oyster. I've seen it done many times in TX and rarely anywhere else. You rinse an oyster and it tastes like ... NOTHING! Or it tastes like cocktail sauce ...but it doesn't taste like an oyster!

I thought that perhaps Gulf oysters perhaps just don't taste very good and that's why they're rinsed. But then I bought and shucked some myself and discovered otherwise.

So why rinse an oyster?? If you like the taste of cocktail sauce so much, just drink cocktail sauce!

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  1. Strange! I was at a local restaurant that has an oyster special, and the guy next to me dumped the liquid out of every oyster before he ate it. What?! The liquor is what gives the oyster that briny goodness I love, why would you dump it? Rinsing them out seems just that much worse, though!

    1 Reply
    1. re: kimfair1

      You are absolutely right, kimfair1. The liquor inside the oyster shell is perhaps the very nicest, mildest form of salt with a rich flavor of the sea. People who dump it out might was well bread and deep fry the oysters.

    2. Rinsing oysters....pour off the juice? Get a rope!!!!!!!!

      5 Replies
      1. re: Uncle Bob

        Uncle Bob,
        Are you organizing a lynch mob to round up some oyster defacers?

        1. re: Tripeler

          Well, yes. ~~ The only alternative would be stripped naked, tarred and feathered, and put on a north bound freight!!!

          1. re: Uncle Bob

            That would be a good start. More oysters and their liquor for us.

            1. re: Uncle Bob

              Based on the OP's experience, you're gonna need a whole lotta tar and feathers. And please - no fedexing of Texans. They love their state like no other (and why would you want to spread that kind of hate for the oyster? ;-)).

              1. re: Uncle Bob

                Don't send them here. We would just send them back to you. They may do that in TX, but I've never seen that done up here. So keep your troublemakers to yourself.

          2. i'm still waiting for someone to defend this practice and provide some sort of explanation, since it's so common in Texas ... although maybe i'm posting in the wrong place

            1. I eat lots of oysters here in TX and haven't ever seen them rinsed.

              4 Replies
              1. re: DuchessNukem

                how often do you see the oysters being shucked and arranged on the platter?

                Captain Tom's Seafood is a pretty popular place where the guys shuck - and then rinse - the oysters right in front of you. most other places i haven't seen them shucked, but they often taste watered down, so I assume they've been rinsed. b/c when I buy them myself they don't taste that way.

                1. re: thadj

                  Let me think.. Pappadeaux, The Palm, Perla's and Parkside (both in Austin) -- every place did shuck in view, no rinsing (and last two places we didn't have Gulf oysters).

                  I'm just surprised (and bummed) that rinsing occurs. Gulf critters do tend to be muddier on the outside but if a little grit gets inside, ah well. And I do find the flavors to be less distinctive than east and left coast oysters.

                2. re: DuchessNukem

                  ps - i had oysters once in new orleans and they had a similar bland taste.

                  also saw this very recently in LA (the city) - and at an upscale restaurant, which was confounding. so I guess it's not just texas. although I feel like it's much more commone down south

                  1. I bet they rinse because they aren't good at shucking and it gets any little bits of shell out.

                    Or because someone at the restaurant isn't good at it and so management has them do this.

                    I will admit to rinsing when I've done a miserable job of the shucking, and bits of shell were everywhere inside. Now I just go out for oysters and let the pros do it, because you're right, they shouldn't be rinsed.