Oysters are a bi-valve mollusk, meaning they have two shells that are held shut by a strong muscle. They have been eaten by humans for thousands of years and are an excellent source of protein, vitamins and other important nutrients. It is important that oysters be either eaten raw or cooked while still alive. Oysters begin to deteriorate quickly when dead, and a dead oyster is more likely to harbor harmful bacteria. Oysters that are alive will have their shells tightly shut. If the shell is ajar, tap it and see if it snaps shut. If it remains open, the oyster is dead and should be discarded. Oysters should be served as soon as possible after they are caught. Those that have to be stored need to simply be stored in a refrigerator. Oysters stored in water will only use up whatever nutrients and oxygen is in the water and die. Oysters can be eaten raw, grilled, boiled, baked, fried or prepared using pretty much any other method.
Preparing oysters is certainly a tricky process and you must be sure to have a good quality, sharp oyster knife. This type of kitchen knife features a short blade ending in a pointed tip, the handle is short and rounded it is designed to fit in the palm. Use the tip to wedge the oyster shells apart and work it open with the flat of the blade while holding the oyster in your other hand. Consider choosing a knife that has a guard on the handle to prevent the operator’s hand from slipping and being cut when they are trying to wedge the oyster knife into the oyster’s shell.