Appreciated both for their exceptional taste and their richness in benefits, oysters are the French people’s favorite edible crustaceans. Served in the most popular restaurants, accompanied by various refined dishes, oysters are a genuine concentrate of nutrients and flavors.
Bivalve mollusks, and oysters, are crustaceans of the Ostreidae family. It is an edible crustacean that lives only in saltwater and thrives in most areas of the sea.
How much do oysters cost on average?
One dozen live oysters may cost anywhere from $9 to $15, depending on the size. Or you can buy oysters in the shell per piece, with the cost of oysters just $1.25 to $2.5 per live specimen. The prices could double if you prefer prepared oysters on the half shell.
Expect to pay anywhere around $65 for a 100-count bushel of oysters. Also, if oysters are already prepared the price would be double.
The price for one pound of shucked oyster meat starts at $10 and goes up to $16.
Buying oysters can be a bit more expensive than some other types of seafood. The cost will depend on the amount you purchase, where you live, oyster size, market conditions, and who is selling them to you.
For example, you can find on Amazon.com a 50-count box of the best quality fresh seafood oysters priced at $65 to $120, based on the time of the year.
SilverPointOysters has a wide variety of oyster meats to suit any appetite. The average price for shucked oyster meat ranges from $9.50 per pint up to $45 for a half-gallon, while live Pacific oysters cost much less, only $8.50 to $11.25 per dozen.
According to the latest update, the retail prices of US oysters, in 2023, are between $1,81 and $4,08 (1,66 EUR and 3,74 EUR per lb) while the wholesale prices stand between $1,27 and $2,86 per lb.
It is predicted that in 2024 US oysters will be exported at the price of $60,75 per kg, while this year US oysters are sold at $59 per kg.
Of the dozens of varieties on the market and in restaurants, five species are more common, with the following trade names: Kumamoto, Atlantic, Pacific, European flat, and Olympia. If the first three are the most common, the last two are very rare and usually more expensive.
If you want to buy fresh oysters, you can choose from shell stock, shucked, or HPP. Shell-stocked oysters have intact shells and will often sit alive inside of a case, while the other two types can be found whole as well but with their meat removed for consumption on your plate.
By eating oysters regularly, you can lose weight because they are low in calories and fat, and at the same time, a source of protein that creates satiety after eating them. Oysters are also a very good source of vitamins A, E, and C, iron, calcium, zinc, selenium, and vitamin B12. They increase energy levels and help to transport oxygen faster to the body’s cells.
Oysters are also said to be one of the natural aphrodisiacs.
What are the extra costs?
Most people who enjoy preparing this food know that a good oyster knife is a necessity. It’s easy to cut your fingers when there are slippery wet shells and sharp edges everywhere. A significant investment in an excellent quality blade can cost around $15 but is well worth it.
You might be surprised to learn that shipping charges can add up when you order products online. Depending on the weight and value of oysters being shipped, expenses range from $15 to $35 or even less if customers have spent enough money in one go.
Good to know
The freshness of an oyster is easily recognizable: if the oyster does not contain much water and the meat is easily detached from the shell, it means that it is no longer fresh. If the shell is open, it means that the oyster is dead and must be discarded. A fresh oyster should smell like the one from the seashore, and its flesh, when you open it, should be the color of ivory.
Be careful how you keep the oysters you bought. It’s not enough to refrigerate them. Place them on an ice bed on a towel, but do not freeze them, so that they are kept as cold as possible. It is good to buy the oysters a maximum of one day before consuming/cooking them.
The general consensus is that oysters are mostly eaten alive and raw. In this case, after removing a valve, consume the entire contents, including the corresponding liquid, often with the addition of butter, salt, or lemon juice. Luxury restaurants serve raw oysters with Mignonette sauce, having freshly chopped onions, pepper, dry white wine, lemon juice, or “sherry” vinegar as a base.
Depending on the geographical area and traditions, oysters are consumed or stored in various forms: boiled (in water or steam), baked, fried, fried, pickled, smoked, canned, or used in a variety of beverages. It should be noted that the taste of oysters also differs depending on the particularities of their living environment (salinity of water, quantity, and type of mineral salts, the structure of food, etc.).
The best oyster bar in the world is called Grand Central Oyster Bar and has been operating since 1913 in Central Station, New York. More than two million oysters are served here each year.
In 1872, New York spent more money on oysters than any other food combination. Before becoming the Big Apple, New York was called the Big Oyster.
Seafood related products
Shrimp and lobsters are two prominent seafood products often associated with oysters. Various shrimp types, like the Gulf and Pacific White shrimp, are commercially significant and found in different regions, from the southeastern U.S. coast to northern Peru. Lobsters, on the other hand, come in varieties like the clawed American lobster and the clawless Spiny lobster, each offering a distinct taste and texture.
Another seafood delicacy is surimi, a shellfish simulation made from white-fleshed fish like pollock. Scallops, especially the smaller Bay scallops, are also a favorite, found from Atlantic Canada to North Carolina. Lastly, crabs, with types like Dungeness, Jonah, and Stone, provide a rich and diverse flavor profile, making them popular choices alongside oysters.
How can you save money as a customer?
For the best deals on oysters, head to international markets.
As an oyster lover, you may find that some restaurants and stores have cheap deals during certain months of the year. For example, in winter on the East Coast, where it is harvesting time, the prices come down.
Also, look for restaurants that have a seafood happy hour.
Buying oysters in bulk is the best way to save money. For example, if you buy ten dozen, then it’s often cheaper than buying 1 or 2 dozen individually.