The oyster. If you live in Maryland, there’s a good chance you’ve tasted the popular bivalve. And whether you love it or hate it, most can agree that
it has a taste and texture like no other. This distinct flavor has Marylanders clamoring for their favorite mollusk when the season hits. Typically, oyster season in this region runs fromOct. 1 through March 31. Oysters, fortunately, are often available all year long.
Seafood restaurant owners in the Calvert County area are preparing for what is hoped to be an excellent oyster season. Jerry’s Place at 1541 Solomons Island Road in Prince Frederick is no exception.
Known for its friendly atmosphere and fresh seafood, this 54-seat restaurant serves up a variety of different seafood dishes, including crabs, shrimp,
squid, oysters and Icelandic haddock. Restaurant owner Jerry Gainey says when it comes to serving delicious oysters, it starts with the product.
“I get my oysters from Patuxent Seafood on Brooms Island,” he said. “They are clean as a pin, and I probably buy 13 to 15 bags a week. I fry them, make oysters casino, oyster stew, and sell a ton on the half shell.”
If you’d rather skip the restaurant and try your own hand at serving the shellfish, look for oysters that are kept on ice in well-drained refrigerated cases. The
shell should be completely closed, which is a good sign there’s a tasty oyster inside. Additionally, avoid selecting mollusks that have lots of seaweed, algae
and mossy patches on their shells.
Jerry also has a few tips for at-home oyster eating. “The main thing is you have to have a shucker that can actually shuck it,” he said. “When people shuck the oyster, they have to get that muscle on the bottom of the oyster. You’ve got to be able to get it out with a fork and eat it. If it starts sticking, you didn’t
do it right.”
by Heather Vecchioni | Contributing Writer