It’s National Oyster Day on Saturday August 5, 2017.
“Nearly two billion pounds of these bivalve mollusks are eaten every year. From 1990 to 1995, Americans ate about fifty million pounds of oysters,” according to NationalOysterDay.com.
August 5 is as good a day as any to slurp a bivalve – and you may be able to find oysters at a discount.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. It’s Not Clear Who Started National Oyster Day but the Best Way to Observe It Is to Eat Them
The National Day Calendar tracks the 1,500 national days in the U.S. The site also digs into days’ origins, and it says it’s not clear who started National Oyster Day.
No matter. The best way to celebrate is to “Make or order a dish that uses oyster as one of its main ingredients. Use #NationalOysterDay to post on social media,” the site advises.
2. Over 100 Species of Oysters Exist
National Oyster Day is a good time to stock up on your oyster trivia.
“There are over 100 species of true oysters and traditionally they are named after the body of water or bay in which they are grown and are known by a myriad of names such as Wellfleets, Kumamoto and La Saint Simon,” reports NationalOysterDay.com.
According to OrganicLife, Oysters come with health benefits.
“Whether you love them raw, fried, or on the half shell, oysters can provide you with a host of health benefits, among them, high levels of heart- and brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and enough zinc (the aphrodisiac mineral) to keep your mojo flowing all night,” the site reports.
Oysters can take different depending on the body of water from which they hail. “Like wine, oysters draw their unique flavors from their environment. They taste like the sea, but the sea tastes different in every bay,” reports The Oyster Guide.
3. You Might Find a Pearl in an Oyster, but Don’t Count on It
The National Day Calendar provides a series of interesting factoids for National Oyster Day.
Among them: “The largest oyster-producing body of water in the world is located in Chesapeake Bay on the east coast of the U.S.” and “In the U.S., east coast oysters tend to be smaller, milder and saltier. West coast oysters are creamy and sweet.”
As for the pearls? “Only one out of every 10,000 oysters will produce a pearl.”
However, reports Food Republic, “The oysters we eat don’t actually make these precious gemstones. While the edible oysters belong to the family ostreidae, pearl oysters, or pinctada, are part of the pteriidae family. Of the seven main types that create the coveted orbs, each adds its own spin to the mix, giving them different colors, sizes and shapes. Also, unlike the common oysters we know, pinctada are found deep in the ocean, not near the surface.”
4. Many Establishments Are Offering Discounted Oysters
You’ll have to hunt around to see if any establishments in your area are offering discounts, but many restaurants and bars see National Oyster Day as an opportunity.
5. The Story That Oysters Are an Aphrodisiac Might Actually Be True
Is it true that oysters spark increased sex drive? It might not be a myth.
“Recently, a team of American and Italian researchers found some truth in the ancient Greek myth. After analyzing oysters, the researchers concluded they were rich in rare amino acids that trigger increased levels of sex hormones,” NationalOysterDay.com reports.
According to The Smithsonian, “Oysters have been a reputed aphrodisiac at least since the Roman Empire, and supposedly were regularly enjoyed as a virility-booster by Giacomo Girolamo Casanova.” However, the science is far from proven. It makes for a good story, anyway.