A few months back local food writer for the Times Picayune/NOLA.com, Todd Price paid Bourbon House a visit. His mission was to share with viewers the top three tips to get the best oysters. In the above video he shares the following advice:
(Quoted Directly from Todd Price on Nola.com)
1: Sit at the oyster bar
You’re going to be asking questions. A waiter might be able to answer, but you’re better off speaking directly to a shucker.
2: Ask for the tag
By law, all oysters have a tag. And restaurants nationwide are required to keep the tag on hand. Ask the shucker to look at the tag. One side has information about the processor. The other side tells you when and where the oysters were harvested.
The industry says oysters are safe to eat up to three weeks after they are harvested. Supan won’t eat oysters that have been out of the water for longer than a week. Those oysters are fresher. And the shorter time is a sign that the oyster bar turns over its oysters quickly.
3: Order one oyster
Ask the shucker for a single oyster.
If it is the summer, look at it. Oysters spawn in the summer. A spawning oyster will be transparent. It will also have no flavor.
Taste the oyster. If it’s salty, order more. If it’s not, go with cooked oysters.
You can skip this step with off-bottom, caged oysters, like Alabama’s Murder Point oysters or Louisiana’s Caminada Bay oysters. Those oysters are placed in water that is salty. And because they’re sterile, they never spawn and become watery.