The “R” rule may have been true 30 or 40 years ago, but thanks to advances in aquaculture it has fallen by the wayside. It used to be fishermen dug for oysters only in the colder “R” months (September through April) to avoid the spawning season.
Warm waters (above 60 degrees) encourage spawning, rendering oysters bland, soft-textured, and small. Once the spawning season is complete, oysters are generally plumper and better-tasting, thus commanding a higher price tag.
Today’s oysters are more likely to be farmed than found, with farmers having more control over the conditions in which they are grown, harvested, and stored. This means that oyster cultivators can plant oysters in cold waters, thereby staggering spawning and keeping their product available year-round. So forget the “R” rule—any time is fine for eating oysters.
The heaviness of the shell is immediately noticeable. The light, sweet aroma wafts over a sparkling liquor. The meat floats inside the shell. The liquor reveals a balance of brine and sweetness, while the bite is full-bodied.
Layers of creamed spinach flavor capture the essence of the Gulf. The savory flavor remains for a nice stay before gently fading with hints of sweetness and the salts.
Oyster afficinados savor them raw and served on ice, but they can also be enjoyed chargrilled, fried, Rockerfellered, or part of a stew or gumbo.
The scent reminds one of a salty morning breeze. The slender shell is a deep and houses a lean, golden meat bathed in liquor. Take a sip of the zing of salts. The meat is light and makes for very smooth eating with hints of green pepper. A crisp, clean finish remains for the perfect amount of time.
The ACE Basin, in the South Carolina Lowcountry, spans approximately 350,000 acres and is one of the largest undeveloped estuaries on the Atlantic Coast.