* Alabama Gulf Oysters are prized for their plump rich meat and taste that has a natural touch of salt. Their meat ranges from tender to firm, making them a versatile ingredient in a number of oyster recipes.Fact
*Alabama Gulf Oysters have pale white to gray shells that are rough with ridges or bumps and can grow up to 8 inches. Alabama Gulf Oysters are available year-round, usually spawning in the late spring’s warm waters.
Our oysters are NEVER frozen and NEVER imported.
We fish for oysters year round. Peak time to get the BEST oysters is September thru June, when the Gulf waters are cooler and the oysters are happier.
Lets talk about how to cook and serve Alabama gulf oysters.
Oysters can be cooked by steaming, grilling, pan-frying, poaching or roasting and can also be pickled or smoked. Often, they are added to fish stews and soups.
Oysters are usually consumed from September – April, as during the summer months they spawn and their flesh becomes milky and too soft to be pleasant to eat.
It is best to buy Alabama gulf oysters from a reliable source such as Zirlotts Gulf Products so that you know that they are good quality. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days but should really be eaten as soon as possible after purchase. If eating the oysters raw, they should be consumed immediately after shucking (opening).
Store the oysters on a large tray or plate, covered with a damp tea towel in the refrigerator until you are ready to prepare them. They should not be immersed in water, as this will kill them.
Cleaning your Gulf Oysters
When you are ready to serve the oysters, if you are going to eat them in the traditional way, scrub the shells under cold running water with a brush to remove any dirt and debris. Discard any shells that are open, cracked or damaged. Allow 6 – 12 oysters per person.
Opening your Alabama gulf oysters
Take an oyster and wrap it in a clean fresh towel or cloth. Ensure that the flatter shell is facing upwards and that the hinge is pointing towards you.
Grip the oyster shucking knife firmly and insert into the small hole located in the hinge. If you don’t have an oyster knife, use a tough short knife with a strong, blunt blade. Do not use a sharp kitchen knife.
Twist the oyster knife until the shells snap apart. Then run the knife blade backwards and forwards along the upper shell in order to sever the muscle that holds the two shells together.
Gently remove the top shell, taking care not to spill any of the liquid inside. It is a good idea to open the oysters over a bowl.
Finally, remove the black beard from the main body and serve.
Serving your gulf oysters
Raw Alabama gulf oysters are traditionally served in their shells with their juice on a bed of crushed ice. The classic accompaniments are cayenne pepper, a wedge of lemon to squeeze over the flesh and a thin slice of buttered brown bread.
Alternatively, they can be seasoned with salt and cayenne pepper with a dash of Tabasco sauce. Some restaurants serve them with a Mignonette sauce made from lemon juice or sherry vinegar, chopped shallots, mixed peppercorns and dry white wine.
Cooking gulf oysters
In general, most types of oyster, including Alabama gulf oysters are eaten raw and this is the most popular way of preparing them.
There are a number of well known cooked oyster dishes including the butter-rich Oyster Rockerfeller, Oysters Mornay, Angels on Horseback and Oysters au gratin.
When cooking with oysters, you should still work with live oysters and open them by steaming for a few seconds. The oyster should be removed from the shell as above and then used in the recipe as instructed. As the oyster has such a delicate flavour, most people prefer to eat them raw unless they are cooked very lightly in a matter of minutes or seconds.