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Its Outer Banks Oyster Season

Its Outer Banks Oyster Season

Oyster season for the Outer Banks is here. For die hard raw bar patrons, this is sort of like seafood Christmas, if there was such a thing. The Outer Banks, and Darrells 2 are all about Ocean fresh seafood and the oyster, whether fried, steamed, broiled or served raw is how they are prepared.

I saw a list of must try foods for Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk and Southern Shores. The list included many local favorites including Barbecue, Duck Donuts and of course Oysters. With Autumn being Oyster season, I thought it would be fun to take a deeper look at this culinary favorite.

The key is to get fresh oysters and serve them at the peak of their flavor. A large seafood chain will over wash and over process the seafood. While I commend their bravado to make the oysters extra sterile, a lot of flavor and aroma is being washed away. Anyone who eats oysters will tell you that fresh,not processed, is the only way to go.

Good Outer Banks Oyster Restaurants Focus On Food Safety

With any meat or shellfish, the health of the catch is the question. Oysters are no different. As a general rule with anything:

  • Farm or ocean to table foods are best for flavor and health
  • Shellfish or fresh food should be cooked immediately and at high temperature

These general rules will eliminate many of the risks that come from preservatives, over processing, or undercooked seafood. Using fresh, versus processed, oysters for frying helps keep flavor in the oyster as well as control biological contaminants. When people eat an oyster they are looking for a distinctive taste, a safe product, and there is no substitute for fresh cooked oysters.

Darrells 2 Restaurant fries their fresh Pamlico Sound oysters to a golden brown giving you incredible taste and killing any bacteria lurking in your favorite food.

The Outer Banks Are The Perfect Place For Oysters….

This isn’t just feel good about the Outer Banks bravado. The water conditions including temperature, salinity, access, and more are perfect for oysters. Not some new special hybrid franken oyster, but the same species we know and love from all over the coastal waterways and estuaries of the United States.

The environment is appealing and the longer season of warm waters makes the OBX brackish estuaries and waterways prime real estate for many of the species of oysters populating the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

oyster_restaurant_outer_banks_There is a huge side benefit:

Oysters clean the water, organically. Their biological process of filtering through water does exactly that. It filters the water of pollutants. So our hunger for oysters creates an industry that actually helps the environment. More specifically, it drastically benefits the OBX.

How much of the Pamlico Sound Could They Clean

Well according to an article in OuterBanksGuide.com 1 acre of oysters, equivalent to around 750,000 oysters, can filter up to 40 million gallons of water a day. So 5 acres of oysters could filter a body of water that is up 200 million gallons a day. This could have a positive impact on other species in the water. In fact it is a growing business that is good for the environment and for battling pollution in our oceans.

Hear it from An Outer Banks Fisherman

Just because oyster farming is great for the environment and the Outer Banks doesn’t mean that the government is going to make it easy to do this. There are all sorts of regulations that stand in the way of the OBX becoming the Mollusk Metropolis with masses of incredible oysters and cleaner water.

Here fisherman Joey Daniels goes into the seemingly ridiculous hurdles you face to create a new industry in the OBX.


It has become a new industry for the Outer Banks

Actually it is the reemergence of an old industry. Around the turn of the century the Outer Banks was supplying hundreds of thousands of Oysters across the country. Over time the harvest of wild oysters has diminished and other areas have become big Oyster products. But that is changing.

The perfect growing conditions combined with American’s insane appetite for Oysters has help Coastal Carolina or the OBX to re-emerge as oyster central. In fact, Americans consume “2.5 billion oysters every year, according to the Oyster Recovery Partnership.(Neimark, 2016). This shellfish industry is definitely ripe for harvest.

How to shuck an oyster

If you are new to the Outer Banks raw bar scene, here is a little primer on how to shuck an oyster

Raw Oyster Safety

With raw oysters make sure your supplier follows these simple rules:

  • Stop harvesting during the time period when Vibrio is known to be prevalent in water
  • Close oyster beds in areas where the temperature rises above 70 degrees
  • Shuck harvested oysters
  • Divert oysters harvested in warm waters out of raw market (dog, 2015)

best_shrimp_restaurant_in_outer_banks_ncEven more fresh Outer Banks Shellfish

Fresh seafood is the norm at Darrells 2. In fact here are some links to other seasonal shellfish favorites in the Outer Banks
Outer Banks Shrimp
Soft Shell Crab
Crab Slough Oyster

Cater your own Outer Banks seafood feast

Darrells 2 can help you cater your very own oyster or seafood fest for weddings, rehearsal dinners, picnics, graduations, office parties, or other gatherings. Contact us for a free quote:

Bibliography

dog, 3 (2015) What you may not know about oysters. Available at: http://outerbanksguides.com/what-you-may-not-know-about-oysters/ (Accessed: 11 October 2016).
Jerry (2010) Oysters, a simple food with a complicated history. Available at: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/02/oysters-a-simple-food-with-a-complicated-history/ (Accessed: 11 October 2016).
Neimark, J. (2016) Why the southeast could become the Napa valley of oysters. Available at: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/01/27/462929374/why-the-southeast-could-become-the-napa-valley-of-oysters (Accessed: 11 October 2016).
Oysters, N. (2016a) Farming oysters on the outer banks- Wanchese fish Co. | north Carolina Oyster blueprint. Available at: http://ncoysters.org/2016/08/farming-oyster-outer-banks/ (Accessed: 11 October 2016).
Oysters, N. (2016b) History of oysters in NC | north Carolina Oyster blueprint. Available at: http://ncoysters.org/oysters/history/ (Accessed: 11 October 2016).
says, arthur goldman J. (2016) NC oyster revolution. Available at: http://www.oysterguide.com/new-discoveries/nc-oyster-revolution/ (Accessed: 11 October 2016).
Sound, A.-P. (2016) ‘Pamlico sound’, in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamlico_Sound (Accessed: 11 October 2016).

Citations, Quotes & Annotations

dog, 3 (2015) What you may not know about oysters. Available at: http://outerbanksguides.com/what-you-may-not-know-about-oysters/ (Accessed: 11 October 2016).
(dog, 2015)
Jerry (2010) Oysters, a simple food with a complicated history. Available at: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/02/oysters-a-simple-food-with-a-complicated-history/ (Accessed: 11 October 2016).
(Jerry, 2010)
“Stop harvesting during the time period when Vibrio is known to be prevalent in water Close oyster beds in areas where the temperature rises above 70 degrees Shuck harvested oysters Divert oysters harvested in warm waters out of raw market” (Jerry, 2010)
Neimark, J. (2016) Why the southeast could become the Napa valley of oysters. Available at: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/01/27/462929374/why-the-southeast-could-become-the-napa-valley-of-oysters (Accessed: 11 October 2016).
(Neimark, 2016)
“2.5 billion oysters every year, according to the Oyster Recovery Partnership.” (Neimark, 2016)
Oysters, N. (2016a) Farming oysters on the outer banks- Wanchese fish Co. | north Carolina Oyster blueprint. Available at: http://ncoysters.org/2016/08/farming-oyster-outer-banks/ (Accessed: 11 October 2016).
(Oysters, 2016a)
Oysters, N. (2016b) History of oysters in NC | north Carolina Oyster blueprint. Available at: http://ncoysters.org/oysters/history/ (Accessed: 11 October 2016).
(Oysters, 2016b)
says, arthur goldman J. (2016) NC oyster revolution. Available at: http://www.oysterguide.com/new-discoveries/nc-oyster-revolution/ (Accessed: 11 October 2016).
(says, 2016)
Sound, A.-P. (2016) ‘Pamlico sound’, in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamlico_Sound (Accessed: 11 October 2016).
(Sound, 2016)