When can I eat oysters?

When is the best time to eat a farm-raised Virginia oyster? The answer is anytime, even summer!

The outdated mantra we’ve heard of only eating oysters in months that have an “r” in them goes back to the time when refrigeration was not widely available.   Ruby Salts Oyster Company follows strict handling guidelines established by the Virginia Department of Health so all oysters leaving our hands are safe to eat. The key to keeping oysters safe to eat is to ensure that everyone down the distribution line keeps them COLD.

Another reason that anytime is the right time to eat Virginia cultured oysters is the use of triploid technology in oyster aquaculture.   Prior to triploid technology, only wild oysters were available for consumption and for conservation purposes, they are not harvested during the warm spawning season.

The use of triploid oysters has revolutionized oyster aquaculture, as it has other agricultural products.  Did you know your seedless watermelon is a triploid fruit, with three sets of chromosomes, just like a triploid oyster has three sets of chromosomes. At the hatchery, an oyster is “born,” coddled as a juvenile and then planted in the Chesapeake to mature, where they acquire the essence, or “merroir,” of the waters in which they are grown.

Refrigeration and triploid technology ensures that the Virginia cultured oyster that you eat, even in the non-r summer months, will be plump, fat and tasty.