Fun facts about oysters

Oyster is the common name for several different families of bivalve mollusks that live in marine habitats such as bays and oceans.

  1. There are five kinds of edible oysters grown in the U.S, and only two of them are native. The Crassostrea Virginica or the “Eastern oyster” is my favorite!
  2. There are 5 edible species of oysters grown in the U.S. But their flavor, texture, acidity, shell shape, and size are completely determined by the environment in which they live and grow.
  3. The scientific name for true oysters is Ostreidae and there are over 200 species of oysters in the world. Our Chesapeake Bay oyster, crassostrea virginica, is the same oyster found along the east coasts of North and South America.
  4. Water conditions determine the flavor and characteristics of oysters, called “merroir,” reflecting wine lovers’ use of the term “terroir.”
  5. Oysters have a rough, irregularly shaped shell which helps them to protect their plump inner body from external threats.
  6. One interesting fact is that they have extremely strong adductor muscles to close their shells when threatened.
  7. Oysters obtain their food by pumping water through their system and filtering small organisms from the water they are almost constantly drawing over their gills.
  8. They live mainly in temperate or warm coastal waters, grow near the bottom, and attach themselves in clusters to hard surfaces called “beds” or “reefs.”
  9. A foot-long oyster indicates a 10–20 year growing cycle.
  10. Oyster shells vary widely in form depending on what they attach to.
  11. They change their gender once or more during their lifetime.
  12. Oysters are a vital part of the ecosystem and work as a natural filter. Studies have found that an individual oyster filters about 30 to 50 gallons of water a day.
  13. They filter pollutants out of the water and provide habitats for other species, such as barnacles and mussels.
  14. Their flavorful meat is considered as a delicious food all around the world and has a lot to offer in terms of health benefits.
  15. Oysters are a low-fat, high-protein seafood choice which are rich in calcium, magnesium and iron.
  16. Oysters contain valuable minerals like copper, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, and zinc.
  17. Not only delicious, oysters are highly nutritious in omega-3 and vitamins C, D and B. These organisms contain vitamin B1, B3, B12 & D.
  18. They’re also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which lower the risk of developing conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
  19. Magnesium found in oysters is important for regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and making protein, bone, and DNA.
  20. Oysters are one of nature’s mightiest conservationists, and they clean water ways around the world.
  21. Only counter-intuitive food: the more oysters, the cleaner our waterways.
  22. Oysters are ecosystem engineers. They cycle nutrients, filter water, and build habitats.
  23. Amazing! Something so good for the environment could be so healthy and delicious.

When you understand the oyster, one will understand the Chip and Shuck Oyster Opener.

Chris Mazza

Chip and Shuck FAQs

Why is it called the “Chip and Shuck” Oyster Opener?

We have found the secret to easily opening an oyster is to chip the “bill” (front) of the oyster prior to shucking.

What is the purpose of chipping first?

Chipping the oyster creates a seam for the shucking wedge to enter for ease of separating of the two shell halves.

Why is it important to conserve the liquid inside an oyster?

Oyster liquor is the natural liquid that you find inside of raw oysters. This liquor is very important as it keeps the oyster alive out of water and extends the freshness of shucked oysters. For best flavor and freshness, don’t rinse or dump the liquor out before you eat or serve them.

How many types of oysters are there?

There are 5 edible species of native oysters grown in the U.S. But their flavor, texture, acidity, and size are completely determined by the environment in which they live and grow. Our Chesapeake Bay oyster, crassostrea virginica, is the same oyster found along the east coasts of North and South America.

Are oysters good for you?

Yes! Oyster and clams are filled with vitamins and nutrients. Oysters are filled with healthy omega-3 fats, iron, vitamin B12, vitamin A and C, and zinc, calcium, magnesium and protein.

Great reasons to make oysters a part of your diet

  1. Boosts Immunity: Oysters are very high in zinc which plays an essential role in our immune system and has been linked to reducing the duration of the common cold when provided as a supplement during the early stages.
  2. Heart Health: Most seafood positively influences the heart. High magnesium and potassium content in oysters help lower blood pressure, relax the blood vessels, and thus helps to sustain a healthy heart.
  3. Good Eyesight: Oysters contain the essential mineral which ensures that the eye’s pigment is adequately produced in the retina. So, if you have enough zinc in your system, you’ll have strong eyesight. Omega-3 fatty acids help to form the cells of our eye and benefit individuals with dry eye disease by helping them produce more tears.
  4. Brain Function: The vitamins and minerals found in oysters are necessary for proper brain functioning. Deficiency of iron reduces the ability of a person to concentrate while zinc deficiency can affect the memory. Our body also needs copper for brain development
  5. Prevent Osteoporosis: Certain minerals found in oysters help to suppress the generation of osteoclasts which are responsible for bone breakdown and loss. However, more studies are needed to confirm this benefit.
  6. Detox Body: The anti-inflammatory property of oysters to protect against free radicals that are released during cellular metabolism and copper helps to maintain the nervous and immune systems and activates genes.
  7. Bone Fitness: We all know that calcium, copper, iron, zinc, and phosphorus is very important for bone health. These minerals help to maintain appropriate bone density and make our bone stronger.
  8. Mood Wellness: Zinc is a mineral known to stabilize mood which is abundant in oysters. A study has found that increased serum blood concentrations of zinc in children were associated with decreased anxiety and depression.
  9. Promote Energy: Oysters contain a good amount of B12 vitamins, which turn the food we eat into energy. Studies have shown that about 20% of people don’t have adequate levels of vitamin B12 for optimal health. Besides, oysters contain iron which helps to transport oxygen to individual cells of our body.
  10. Sexual Strength: Oysters are extremely rich in zinc, which is an essential mineral for the production of testosterone. Besides, oysters are linked to boosting dopamine, a hormone that increases libido in both men and women. In women, zinc might help to balance the level of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.