Food & Drink

The Hot (Or Cold) Question: What’s the Best Way to Eat an Oyster?

Fire or ice? Readers weigh in

photo: Jeff Greenough

In a recent Talk of the South newsletter, we asked readers, “What’s the best way to eat an oyster?” Here are a few of the many responses:

Dozens on the half shell and on your tab. —Pat S.

Cold and raw with a horseradish-kissed cocktail sauce. If this isn’t heaven, it’s not far away. —Janice E.

Slurped from the shell or on a pork rind, Vivian Howard style! —Cody G.

A dozen at a time, with ice cold beers and Dad. —Megan M.

Vicariously, yuck! —Floyd B.

Pan-fried with spicy, make-your-nose-run cocktail sauce! —Leslie H.

Raw (is there really any other way?) with a wedge of lemon, lots of horseradish, a little cocktail sauce, and a few saltine crackers. And of course a cold beer and some Lowcountry scenery! —Ann M.

Sitting on the deck of a beach house on Dauphin Island, facing the Gulf of Mexico, shucking oysters straight out of a burlap sack. Slap an oyster on a saltine cracker with a little hot sauce and a squeeze of lemon. Life is good… —Leigh B.

Raw, outside, in the cold, with a fire nearby, a beer, and my personal oyster knife. —Jim H.

Broiled, tossed with herbs and showered with olive oil and parmesan, served with a crusty bread for soakin’ up the sauce. —Shirley T.

Straight up, right off the shell, no sauce, no crackers or any of that other frou-frou stuff. Just beautiful briny goodness. And yes, you chew them, not let them slither down. —John C.

Grilled on the half shell with a chip of butter, dash of hot sauce, sprinkle of pepper, and a little Parmesan cheese! Cook until they’re hot and dig in! —Tammy T.

Roasted by the creek on Pawleys Island…saltines, Tabasco, and cold beer! —Kelley P.

What? Raw…with cocktail sauce! You mean there are other ways? —Vicky D.

On a chilly winter evening with a steaming bowl of Mama’s oyster stew. Made with half ‘n half and cream, completed with a side of warmed oyster crackers. —Henriette H.

Raw or, as Jimmy Buffett says, “Give me oysters and beer for dinner every day of the year and I’ll feel fine, I’ll feel fine.” —Patrick H.

Wood-grilled with bone marrow butter, chives, and lemon. —Melinee F.

At Drago’s in New Orleans. Charbroiled, with French bread on the side. —Kathleen M.

Straight from the Gulf and the shell. Gulf oysters only. Maybe a dash of Tabasco. —Jim R.

Scalloped! My grandfather was first-generation in Missouri (away from Virginia and Kentucky). Scalloped oysters were a must-have at Christmas and still are for me. —Janet E.

Buzzed. —Rob S.

Raw with a drop of Red Clay hot sauce or a Mezzeta’s hot banana pepper! —Randy B.

Fresh outta the water with Tabasco and lemon. The only respectable way. —Melinda P.

Slightly steamed, skinny-dipped in lemon butter, tossed on a saltine and topped with Datil pepper sauce and/or horseradish. —Shari G.

Served raw with a squeeze of lemon, a dash of Crystal hot sauce, and a dab of ground horseradish. Slurp. —Linda M.

Crispy fried, served in the shell on a bed of diced watermelon rind pickle and topped with spicy remoulade sauce. So good! —John W.

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