Oysters, you do like them or you don’t! Have you ever eaten oysters? And, if you have eaten oysters, did you open the oyster shell yourself? Oysters! A wonderfully luxurious and festive snack. But in any case, especially the first time it takes some time to get used to eating such a live mollusk. Oysters or as we say “Oesters”.
Oysters farms in Zeeland
Oysters from Zeeland are the best. Zeeland is a province in the southwest of the Netherlands. An oyster is a crustacean farmed in the Zealand waters: the Grevelingen lake and the Oosterschelde. The taste of the oysters is determined by the soil, nutrition, salinity, and temperature of the water. The Zeeland oyster has an oval, irregularly shaped shell. The taste of Zeeland oysters is soft, salty, fresh, and has a firm bite.
The oyster season runs from September to April. You can look for wild oysters yourself in Zeeland waters, but do not enter the breeding ponds. The rule is that it is best to collect oysters when the letter “r” is in the month, so you do it from September to April. If you find oysters in the summer or during a warm spring, there is a chance they are not good.
Collecting oysters yourself
How nice it is to pick wild oysters yourself! Most places to pick oysters are in Zeeland, but there are also picking locations on the Wadden Islands. Oyster-picking locations can be found on the will-pick guide. Type in the select field “oester” and you will see all locations in the Netherlands where you can pick oysters.
➔ Wildpick locations in the Netherlands
Oysters, a true delicacy
Oysters from Zeeland are a true delicacy. The flat oysters in particular are a delicious raw treat. Simply eat the oysters with a homemade vinaigrette made from ground pepper, lemon, wine vinegar, or raspberry vinegar mixed with some chopped onion. Soften the taste of the vinaigrette with some honey or sugar if necessary. Drizzle a few teaspoons of lemon or wine vinegar over the oysters.
Oysters are healthy, they contain a lot of magnesium and zinc. These two minerals play an important role in human metabolism. Oysters fit perfectly in a low-cholesterol and low-calorie diet.
Where to buy fresh oysters
Buy fresh oysters from a special fresh fish shop or in the fresh fish section of the supermarket. After purchase, keep the oysters in the refrigerator in a basket or box, but never store them in water. Oysters can survive out of water for about 9 days. The oysters must be alive until consumption. The oysters must remain closed. Is the shell slightly open? Tap on the shell. If the shell closes, the animal is still alive and you can eat it, otherwise don’t. Oysters must be eaten alive, if an oyster is no longer alive don’t eat it!
Special Oyster knife
Opening an oyster can be tricky. Use a special oyster knife to open an oyster. Place the oyster, flat side up, in a cloth on your hand. Insert the oyster knife into the hinge of the oyster and go all the way around to open the shell. Open the shell so that the two parts are next to each other and cut the sphincter. Remove any small shells. The oyster is now ready to consume.
Oysters: you eat them raw, boiled, baked, au gratin, or grilled. But whatever way you eat them, oysters are always a delicacy, a true gift from the sea.
Ingredients for 2 persons
12 Zeeland oysters
200 gr chopped onions
50 gr butter
1/4 dl water
Open the oysters and remove them from the shell. Pour the oyster liquid into a bowl. Dry half the shells and place them on a plate with a layer of salt. Pour the oyster liquid through a sieve into a pan. Lightly fry the chopped onions in the butter and deglaze with the oyster water. Bring it to a boil and then puree it in the food processor. Briefly shock the oysters on both sides over high heat. The oysters should not be overcooked. Season the onion puree with a little salt and pepper and divide it into shells. Place the oysters on top.
Ingredients for 2 persons
12 open oysters
1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon soft butter
2 tablespoons France cheese Reblochon
1 very finely chopped shallot in lemon juice
Heat the grill. Mix breadcrumbs, butter, cheese, and shallot. Drain the excess liquid from the oyster shell. Drizzle the oysters with lemon juice. Divide the cheese mixture over the oysters. Gratin the oysters under the hot grill for a few minutes until golden brown.
Oysters, a piece of art
Oyster shells, once destined for the ocean floor, can be transformed into stunning works of art with a touch of creativity and a splash of color. Giving these shells a second life through painting and decorating is not only a fun and rewarding activity but also a beautiful way to re-purpose nature’s treasures.
Oyster festival, Yerseke Zeeland
The oyster season in Zeeland is from September to April. The start of the oyster season is celebrated during the Oyster Festival in the village of Yerseke. During the Oyster Festival, you will get to know the versatility of the oyster and other Zeeland delicacies. The reproduction of an oyster takes place between May and August.
➔ Yerseke Zeeland
The Oyster Festival is a 3-day festival dedicated to the Zeeland Oyster Season. Yerseke is the main mussel and oyster city of Zeeland. If you are an oyster lover, do not miss a visit to this beautiful village. In Yerseke you can stroll along oyster pits. Oyster pits are used for growing oysters. If you are in Yerseke also visit the Oosterscheldedam, Oosterscheldemuseum, and the beautiful nature reserve Yerseke Moer.
➔ Oysterfestival Zeeland