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Apr 23, 2014 07:31 AM

Oysters: RAw vs Cooked in NOLA

What's the scoop? BAck home, Philly or New England, raw oysters
are served everywhere without heavy duty warnings about people with
compromised immune systems avoiding them...

Here, most of the fine restaurants are serving cooked oysters as an appetizer, rather than raw. Is there a pathogen/issue with Gulf oysters
that is not present in East Coast or West Coast oysters?

I have a friend who grew up in New Orleans; she said she could not
tolerate raw oysters, but cooked were ok. Is there something not widely known here about local oysters?

Thanks much, from a PHilly CH

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  1. the water is warmer and breeds bacteria faster/easier

    1. Nah, the oysters here are as safe as anywhere (and maybe better tested given the scrutiny the industry faced after BP) -- they just taste better cooked whereas the cold water oysters shine when raw.

      Restaurants in Boston also include warnings about undercooked fish, eggs, and meat. Same deal, simple CYA legalese.

      1. Good to know, and it makes sense. Esp about cold water oysters shining when cold. Off the record, I ordered a dozen raw in Memphis, and asked where they came from
        when I saw those huge plump beauties. Dumb question:
        where else would they come from, but the Gulf? And, having never eaten Gulf oysters to my knowledge, I had some brief hesitation, but plunged in anyway, with fingers
        crossed there would be no unpleasant aftereffects. There weren't, and I loved them, even though I sort of prefer the saltier flavor of some of the East Coast oysters.

        1. If your cocktail sauce contains enough horseradish, it will take care of any pesky bacteria...and clear out your sinuses at the same time. I like to get a dozen raw and a dozen char broiled. Makes for a tasty meal.