Culinary tradition dictates only eating oysters during months containing the letter 'r' -- from September to April. Not anymore: oysters are now sold and consumed year-round thanks to new harvesting techniques and refrigerated transportation methods.

Because of the reproductive cycle that occurs when the waters are warmer, northern oysters are available during the breeding season of southern oysters, and vice versa.

How to eat an oyster

  • Although they can be eaten cooked (stuffed and au gratin, grilled or fried, for example), oysters are most often eaten raw, i.e., alive.
  • Don’t open oysters too far in advance to preserve their freshness, so allow a maximum of one hour before tasting.
  • Once the oyster is open, check that it retracts as soon as you touch its mantle (the darkest part).
  • Loosen the oyster from the shell and eat using an oyster fork.
  • It is recommended that you chew them to get the most out of all their flavour.

Oyster party, anyone?

Plan for 6 to 8 oysters per person as a starter. Count 12 as a main course with side dishes and around 18 without.

How to shuck an oyster in 4 steps

  1. Set your oyster, belly side down, on a flat surface with the point facing you. Hold the oyster in place using a towel.
  2. Work your oyster knife into the hinge and press firmly. Rotate the knife to separate the shells.
  3. Slide the knife along the upper valve and cut the muscle on the right-hand rounded side of the oyster. Remove the shell.
  4. Finally, slide the knife under the meat to cut the lower part of the muscle that holds the meat to the bottom of the shell.

How to store oysters

Store them in a damp cloth, flat side up (so they don’t lose their natural water) on the bottom shelf of the fridge. Oysters will keep for up to six weeks.


Mignonnette – Beurre blanc

  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and julienned
  • 75 ml (⅓ cup) cider vinegar (plus 60 ml [1/4 cup])
  • 10 ml (2 teaspoons) sugar
  • 1 French shallot, minced
  • 75 ml (⅓ cup) white wine
  • 75 ml (⅓ cup) 35% cream
  • 60 ml (4 tablespoons) butter
  • Caviar
  • 24 Royal Canadian oysters from Odessa Poissonnier

– In a bowl, combine the cucumber with the 60 ml cider vinegar and sugar. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, then drain.
– In a small saucepan, sweat the shallots, then deglaze with the remaining cider vinegar. Bring to the boil and reduce until almost dry.
– Add the cream and simmer for 5 minutes.
– Strain the shallots through a sieve and return to the heat.
– Add the butter gradually, stirring constantly.
– Spread the mixture over the oysters. Garnish with the cucumbers and caviar.

Mignonnette – Ginger lime

  • 2 small French shallots, finely chopped
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 45 ml (3 tablespoons) lime juice
  • 10 ml (2 teaspoons) fresh ginger, grated
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp.) snipped chives
  • 24 Caraquet oysters from Odessa Poissonnier-

– In a bowl, combine the shallots, oil, lime juice, ginger and chives.
– Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
– Spread the mixture over the oysters.

Mignonnette – Asian

  • 60 ml (¼ cup) Super Asian Inspiration Fish Tartar Preparation
  • 1 bird’s eye chilli, sliced
  • 24 Odessa Poissonnier Blue Label oysters

– Spoon the Asian dressing over the oysters.
– Garnish with slices of bird’s eye chilli, to taste.