Although not every oyster contains a pearl, the shellfish offers a summer reward of a different kind for seafood lovers everywhere. Locally harvested and internationally renown, the Long Island Sound’s Blue Point Oysters are sourced directly from the Connecticut coastline and arrive at Stew Leonard’s stores on a daily basis. The result is a briny, savory treat that often travels only a few miles from dock to plate.
“There’s no better way to beat the heat this summer than by slurping an oyster and enjoying a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc,” said Stew Leonard Jr., president and CEO of Stew Leonard’s. “There’s a myth that you can only eat oysters during months that have the letter ‘r’ in them, but Blue Point Oysters can be enjoyed at any time of year. My family especially loves them during the summertime – they’re great on the grill.”
Stew Leonard’s has been working with local suppliers, Westport Aquaculture and Norm Bloom & Son for years; both companies farm only sustainable oysters, meaning they constantly seed and reseed local beds. High in protein and zinc, and containing only nine calories, oysters are as good tasting as they are for you. Before you get shucking, Stew's seafood experts answer several common questions about selecting and enjoying the perfect oyster:
How can I be sure that the oysters I purchase are safe to eat?
Stew Leonard’s will not sell oysters from suppliers who harvest them from waters that may be unsafe. The waters in Long Island Sound are sampled regularly to determine water quality, and are known as some of the finest oyster growing grounds in the country.
What should oysters look like when I purchase them?
Oyster shells should have a healthy, gray color. Inside the shell, oysters are a creamy white, brownish gray and plump.
How long can an oyster store?
The best way to keep oysters fresh is to refrigerate them. They will be shelf stable for 5 days.
How do you shuck an oyster?
Place an oyster flat side up on a hard surface and anchor with a dish cloth or small towel. Place a flathead screw driver in the hinge part of oyster, and with pressure, pry into oyster. As soon as the screwdriver penetrates, pry the two shells apart. To watch a step-by-step tutorial, click here.
Oysters can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Common methods of cooking include frying, grilling or steaming, but the most common and traditional way is to serve them is raw with a dash of hot sauce and a lemon wedge. Pair with a chilled white wine or seasonal summer beer, and the Long Island Sound's most beloved residents will be the star of any party.