About Oysters

“About Oysters”

Want to learn about Oysters? First off, they are apart of our everyday life, its true. I’m pretty sure that many of you out there are not real sure what you’re going to learn about oysters, but there is a lot to learn.  To be quite honest, I’m not a huge oyster fan, but I was pretty impressed by this . . .While burning up the highway along the pacific coast (no it was not the “pacific coast highway,”  just a  pacific coast highway, hence my carefully planned wording) a short stop to the Pacific Seafood Oyster farm in Oregon became in order after I saw this. . .

This would be tons, yes tons, of discarded oyster shells.  Oh and this is only one of the piles.

This was another pile just a little down the way.  You can see how they are bundling them up onto pallets and getting ready to ship them.  So where do they go and who buys them and what do they do with them?  My sentiments exactly. . .  This little discovery of discarded oyster shells alone led me to want to know more about oysters, so I did some research about oysters. . .


Although this is not the best picture (especially of me), you can see the workers spending long hours shucking and bottling the Oysters for shipment.  I’m sure being put on display and part of a tour is exactly what they love about their job.  Just look how happy they are with their heads held high . . . or not. . . .

After they are shucked, another little something about oysters, is that they are put in bottles and shipped to stores and restaurants for our consumption.  Well, not my consumption, but maybe some of you will enjoy them.

The shells however go into one of the massive piles that you can’t help but notice on your way past the facility.  Which now, returns us to our question of where they go from there. The answer is . . . a lot of places.

1- Your Garden-Here’s something about oysters, finely ground Oyster shells Contain up to 36% calcium, plus a natural balance of other nutrients and micronutrients, and can be used to raise pH levels in acidic soils and correct calcium deficiencies.

2-Your House-That’s right, another thing about oysters, oyster shells and concrete, talk about a unique exterior.

3-Your Chickens- (Now how many of you knew this about oysters?) Because laying hens need a good source of calcium to keep their eggshells strong. Hens that get too little calcium will lay thin-shelled eggs that will be prone to breakage. Eggshells are made of calcium carbonate, the same as found in oyster shells.  So what came first the Oyster or the chicken? 

4-Your Oysters– That’s right, “during the summer months, another little fact about oysters is that they spawn and release free-swimming larvae, called spat, into the water. The spat are carried by tide and current and after spending about two weeks moving in the water column, seek a suitable surface upon which to attach and begin building their shells of calcium carbonate. Unless disturbed, they will spend the remainder of their life cycle where they have attached. Centuries of oyster cultivation experience have proven oyster shell to be one of most desirable materials (called cultch) for attachment and subsequent growth of young oysters. Other cultch materials, such as shucked whelk shell and wooden stakes have been very successful in attracting and supporting oyster spat.” (courtesy of our friends in South Carolina, at http://saltwaterfishing.sc.gov/oyster.html

So now another question about oysters, which came first the spat or the cultch?

There you have it, some facts about oysters to show that they play a bigger role in your life than maybe you thought they did. 

But enough about the shells, here are some recipes about oysters in which I will actually eat them, over and over again.


Want to learn more about oysters?  Join our online cooking program and learn more about oysters from picking them out to cooking and serving them! 

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About the author, Shawn

Chef Shawn has worked in almost every segment of the foodservice industry. He holds business degrees and certificates in Culinary Arts, Hospitality & Tourism Management, Accounting and Professional Sales. He is Certified Executive Chef (CEC) and a Certified Culinary Educator (CCE) through The American Culinary Federation. A Certified Culinary Professional (CCP) through the International Association of Culinary Professionals. He is the author of The First Timer’s Cookbook and The First Timer’s Bakebook. His work has been recognized nationwide as well as being a regular contributor to numerous food service publications and outlets and is the recipient of numerous awards-most recently the 2015 Culinary Educator of the Year through the local American Culinary Federation’s chapter-Beehive State Chef’s Association.

He the owner of multiple food service businesses and currently the host of the Business Chef Podcast.


  1. Lesli Bucher on 07/18/2008 at 3:39 AM

    Wow, that was informative. And so well written! You’re intelligent, good-looking, athletic, caring, charitable, friendly . . . . ah, the list goes on. What a stud.

  2. shawn on 07/18/2008 at 11:47 PM

    Thanks Mom. . .

  3. Heli Nielson on 07/21/2008 at 6:17 PM

    Shawn…I would walk miles for a yummy Kumamoto. I love those buttery, tangy little dudes. Are you a mignonette or a cocktail sauce guy?


  4. shawn on 07/22/2008 at 12:33 AM

    You know, I enjoy the cocktail sauce when its got alot of horseradish in it so it has some bite. But I would have to say that a good migonette, goes great with Oysters no matter what. Especially when its served in conjunction with a nice Oysters Rockefeller . . . Ooooooh yeah.

  5. Jen @ MaplenCornbread on 09/24/2009 at 6:03 PM

    WOW that is a lot of Oysters!!!

  6. Anonymous on 07/21/2011 at 5:52 PM

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