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Louisiana Oysters in Jeopardy

my idiosyncrasies Aug 20, 2019

I love oysters! Ever since I can remember, raw oysters on the half-shell were something I craved and eagerly anticipated eating once those welcomed cold fronts moved in to drop the Gulf water temperatures and signal the beginning of the year's harvest.

Nothing beats standing at a bar on a brisk January afternoon with a cold Abita Amber, a paper cup with my own made horseradish cocktail sauce, chatting with the shucker and hoping he will throw in a few extras for good measure. After eating what seems like four dozen, I settle up and discover that I was charged for only two dozen of these delightful bivalve mollusks - about $27 - ensuring a very nice tip for Cyrus, my shucker and, now, best friend whom I have named "Lagniappe".

Sadly, this may be changing this year in a very big way. Excessive flooding along the Mississippi is creating an overabundance of fresh water pouring into the Gulf of Mexico, upsetting the delicate balance of brackish waters off the Louisiana coast in which these delicacies thrive. Unlike most sea creatures, oysters do not have legs or fins to allow them to move to a more balanced mix of salt and fresh waters. They cannot drift or float. They just sit there. The result is severely diminished viability of the oyster beds. That means higher prices for consumers. Some are predicting that we could be paying $3 per oyster and, it's likely that a closer watch will be put on my "Lagniappe" shucker, Cyrus, thus substantially diminishing my consumption. <sigh>

Read more about this impending crisis here:

Some of my favorite Louisiana oyster bars are Acme Oyster House , Felix's, (New Orleans) Drago's, (New Orleans and Lafayette) and Shuck's (Abbeville).Raw is not the only way to eat oysters.

Check out these 15 great oyster recipes and exercise your culinary muscles.