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Buying Raw Oysters


Soup
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Any place around DC where I can get a sack or two of oysters for reasonable price? Looking to roast.

Like, a bushel? Or less? You can get a sack of a dozen at Busters in the Dupont Market, I believe they run 50 cents each. You can have larger orders shipped in from Rappahanncok River, they run about $1.10 after shipping. You can also buy down on Maine Avenue, with about equal chances (in my experience) of lovely fresh osters and deeply defunct bivalves. Ask them to show you the ticket with the harvest date.

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Like, a bushel? Or less? You can get a sack of a dozen at Busters in the Dupont Market, I believe they run 50 cents each. You can have larger orders shipped in from Rappahanncok River, they run about $1.10 after shipping. You can also buy down on Maine Avenue, with about equal chances (in my experience) of lovely fresh osters and deeply defunct bivalves. Ask them to show you the ticket with the harvest date.

I think I'm in the minority about Maine Ave. market. Just not a big fan of that place.

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Looking to get a sack of oysters for a reasonable price. Would preciate a place in NOVA.

Soup

What's a sack? What's a reasonable price?

I just picked up a dozen from Buster's at the Dupont Market. $6/dozen, which is a pretty good price for oysters as fresh as his but that's just a start. If you want quantity, you might consider having them delivered.

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I just picked up a dozen from Buster's at the Dupont Market. $6/dozen, which is a pretty good price for oysters as fresh as his but that's just a start. If you want quantity, you might consider having them delivered.

Look at you, Mr. Moneybags wink.gif I bought some a few weeks back from WF in SS for anywhere from $1 to $1.40 each (the latter were some delicious Wellfleets). I was particularly thankful because my order with Rappahannock River got FUBAR'd - they sent him only 50 oysters instead of the 100 I had originally asked for. I called WF and they had 50 all ready for me when I got there. *phew* Saved my dinner party.

If you want a really big sack of oysters, you can get locally farmed one from Annapolis Seafood Market. We ordered some for a party last spring and got sacks of about 100 for about $0.75 per oyster.

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Look at you, Mr. Moneybags wink.gif I bought some a few weeks back from WF in SS for anywhere from $1 to $1.40 each (the latter were some delicious Wellfleets). I was particularly thankful because my order with Rappahannock River got FUBAR'd - they sent him only 50 oysters instead of the 100 I had originally asked for. I called WF and they had 50 all ready for me when I got there. *phew* Saved my dinner party.

If you want a really big sack of oysters, you can get locally farmed one from Annapolis Seafood Market. We ordered some for a party last spring and got sacks of about 100 for about $0.75 per oyster.

They were fine, too. Mrs. B turned them into some excellent Oysters Rockefeller (how's that for being a moneybags?) a dish which was not, however, being served at my old boss John D. IV's annual staff/alumni Christmas pageant last week (nor was he clad in Roca-wear, interestingly, or spinning the Rockefeller Skank).

I might actually go a buck and a quarter for a Wellfleet, but WF has in the past unloaded oysters over a week old on me and so I tread with caution in those green aisles.

Buster's (spun off from Standard Oil as an independent entity in the 1911 anti-trust settlement) technically does not sell "oysters" but a similar bivalve known as "ersters" and it is possible that those wishing to bag a bag of ersters can arrange a trade by contacting Buster's World Headquarters on evocatively-named Swamp Moss Road in lovely (but clearly not urbane, name notwithstanding) Urbanna Virginia.

Busters Seafood

287 Moss Swamp Rd
Urbanna, VA 23175
804-758-5924
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I was wondering if they carry oysters at Blacksalt. They don't seem to on their website. I called. According to their recorded holding message, at least 8 different types of east and west coast oysters. Not cheap (actually, they're pretty expensive) - premium oysters are $2 a piece and regular oysters are $1.50 a piece. Any cheaper alternatives?

How much are oysters at Pearl Dive? Maybe I should just go eat there instead of shucking the bastards myself.

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E&BB: Have you read Waitman's posts above? If you could be satisfied w a single, local source of a sack for $8 purchased from the guy who caught the oysters, Buster's at Dupont Circle (northwest DC) is worth seeking out in the far corner of the PNC parking lot on Sunday mornings, starting at 10 am. Bags usually gone before closing at 1, but they also have glass jars of freshly shucked oysters which come in handy for throwing together something quickly. Paige and Jimmy were ladling out a simple oyster stew some time before noon and the critters in my cup were quite tender as well as flavorful.

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Am interested in others' thoughts about how picky to be about oysters, in terms of how good they must look upon being opened, in order to go ahead and eat.

Bought 24 at $1 per, from WF in Glover Park.  The guy behind the counter was great, let me taste a few, and told me that he was throwing in several extra just in case.

It is a good thing he did - at least according to my calibration of what looks good enough to eat and what doesn't - because I tossed out about 40 percent of them.

My rule of thumb is that there is no, or even just markedly little, liquor inside, then I will toss.  Do others follow this rule of thumb, or am I too cautious?

(I am not complaining about WF, though maybe I should be?)

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Am interested in others' thoughts about how picky to be about oysters, in terms of how good they must look upon being opened, in order to go ahead and eat.

Bought 24 at $1 per, from WF in Glover Park.  The guy behind the counter was great, let me taste a few, and told me that he was throwing in several extra just in case.

It is a good thing he did - at least according to my calibration of what looks good enough to eat and what doesn't - because I tossed out about 40 percent of them.

My rule of thumb is that there is no, or even just markedly little, liquor inside, then I will toss.  Do others follow this rule of thumb, or am I too cautious?

(I am not complaining about WF, though maybe I should be?)

I have always gone with the sniff test once opened.

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Am interested in others' thoughts about how picky to be about oysters, in terms of how good they must look upon being opened, in order to go ahead and eat.

Bought 24 at $1 per, from WF in Glover Park.  The guy behind the counter was great, let me taste a few, and told me that he was throwing in several extra just in case.

It is a good thing he did - at least according to my calibration of what looks good enough to eat and what doesn't - because I tossed out about 40 percent of them.

My rule of thumb is that there is no, or even just markedly little, liquor inside, then I will toss.  Do others follow this rule of thumb, or am I too cautious?

(I am not complaining about WF, though maybe I should be?)

I have always gone with the sniff test once opened.

The sniff test *for sure* to determine freshness, and I developed my own saying to determine quality (unfortunately, you can't tell until after you consume each oyster):

"The bigger, the blacker the blotch - the badder the bivalve."

If you see a dark-black blotch on the shell, it generally means you just had a lousy oyster; if you see a clean, white shell, it generally means the oyster was clean and fresh - that's the decision I came to about a decade ago, and it seems to hold true in the general case.

See also "Ordering Oysters Online."

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My rule of thumb is that there is no, or even just markedly little, liquor inside, then I will toss.

Can you increase the amount of liquor inside, by wrapping them in damp paper towels and storing them in the 'fridge for a day or two? I thought I heard something like that once from a guy selling them, although I could have misinterpreted what he said, and he could have been completely wrong.

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... I developed my own saying to determine quality (unfortunately, you can't tell until after you consume each oyster):

"The bigger, the blacker the blotch - the badder the bivalve."

If you see a dark-black blotch on the shell, it generally means you just had a lousy oyster; if you see a clean, white shell, it generally means the oyster was clean and fresh - that's the decision I came to about a decade ago, and it seems to hold true in the general case.

See also "Ordering Oysters Online."

Sounds like a great test, if I had a "rewind by one minute" button on my life.  I have often wished for that.  :)

(By the way, if it matters for my original question of earlier today, I am indeed talking about eating them raw.  I am less picky for when I am cooking, and will happily buy jarred oysters for cooking.)

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I like this liquor rule, although it underscores a problem I keep encountering at stores which have a generic fish counter: they don't know anything about oyster anatomy.  I can't tell you how many times I've seen a display of oysters in which each one has been carefully and deliberately placed...upside-down.  That is, displayed with the pretty cup shell showing on top, flat shell on the bottom against the ice.  Of course they're going to lose the liquor this way and die a premature death.

If a vendor displays them this way, don't even bother to ask.  They've shown you they just don't know.

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Sounds like a great test, if I had a "rewind by one minute" button on my life.  I have often wished for that.   :)

(By the way, if it matters for my original question of earlier today, I am indeed talking about eating them raw.  I am less picky for when I am cooking, and will happily buy jarred oysters for cooking.)

Ha! Sam, I should add that even within the same dozen (at a restaurant), there will be a mix, and when I say "lousy," I just mean "of lesser quality"; not something that would make you ill. I've found that about 10-20% of all oysters I have at restaurants have some degree of "black-blotch syndrome."

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God help me for having done this, but I actually bought some Chincoteague salts (I didn't get the exact provenance) in June from, of all places, the Harris Teeter off Lee Highway.  I've enjoyed learning to shuck oysters over the last couple of years, and the price was pretty reasonable, so I figured if they sucked, no harm done.  They were actually pretty good!  Clean flavor, plump, salty as expected, and not a bad one in the batch.  I usually buy oysters at places that are, you know, actually seafood-focused, so I still don't know what got into me, but I was glad I did.  Haven't seen them since but if you do, worth a try.

ETA: Changed the timing of when I bought them to June, and I now realize that these oysters seem to be available from September to June...which is probably why I haven't seen them since.

Edited by captcourt
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