If you ask just about any cook, the answer you will get to the question of how long are raw oysters good for will be different. There are many different opinions on this topic. One person might suggest that it is best left alone in a container and just let them age. Another may insist that you should keep them in your refrigerator.
The truth is that no one has been able to tell for sure when old oysters began turning black. It just seemed to happen over the course of time. Over time, what began as a lump of clay-like substance within the mollusk’s shell began to gradually turn black. The oyster shell started to absorb the color, until eventually the oysters were almost completely black.
You probably have had some experience with clams or mussels as well. Those things are actually oysters, although they look very much like a clamshell. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on the species of oyster. They are often harvested by hand, by a shellfish trawler, or by a machine.
In order to determine how long are raw oysters good for, you really need to know a little bit about shellfish. Unlike clam shells, oysters (and other shellfish) will not create their own shells. To grow properly, they must be kept in an environment where the water temperature and light level are right. There also has to be enough sand and other substances to allow the oysters to bury themselves. There are a few other factors involved.
There are many different species of oysters, and each species has slightly different time requirements for growth and harvesting. Knowing how long are raw oysters good for will depend on how long it takes them to reach the size and shape in which they’re going to be sold in stores. Different types of oysters have different surface temperatures and even different color. Some oysters are known to have white, leathery bottoms, while others can have a creamy greenish color. Some oysters live longer than others, while some can live for only a day or two.
The harvesting of oysters is done by hand. This means that at any given time, only one oyster might be alive. After it is brought out from the water and placed in a protected area, it may stay there for days or months. Some oysters can live in a container of water for weeks, and even months. A harvesting machine may be used for bigger or more exotic species of shellfish, but most people use live-and-die systems for freshwater oysters.
As mentioned above, different species of oysters have different water requirements. Before picking fresh oysters, always check the water conditions where the oysters will be living. Freshwater oysters need clear water and deep, warm areas with lots of dissolved oxygen. They cannot handle very low levels of oxygen in the water. Live-and-die systems are perfect for these types of oysters.
Knowing how long are raw oysters good for depends on how long it takes for them to reach their maximum size. Live-and-die systems are best for harvesting oysters in their natural habitats, as they will be the only oysters alive when they are picked. For those who prefer to keep a few oysters in their refrigerator, they can be brought out every few days for eating. But if you are going to buy your oysters in the supermarket, make sure that you buy ones that are firm and live.
Buy your oysters from a reputable store, such as Longman’s, John Lewis or Portofino. The store where you purchase your oysters should be free of cuts or cracks, because these indicate that the oysters have been living under difficult circumstances. Don’t forget to inspect the oysters carefully, and pay special attention to their location, as they will likely be resting at the bottom of a body of water. For further care information, visit your nearest seafood supply center or department store. Do not buy any oysters without their labels. A professional would know how to determine which ones are good for each type of situation.
Pickles and other foods that come in containers are calling “pickled” products, because they are preserved by adding chemicals to the product. It is important to read the label carefully. Some pickles are made with real fresh ingredients, while others are made with sugar. Others contain gelatin or salt. The type of pickle you will buy depends on your personal preference.
So, how long are raw oysters good for cooking? A good oyster can keep for more than one year if kept in good conditions. Their long shelf-life depends largely on how they were stored when buying. And, if they were properly cleaned and cared for during their life, the answer to the question can you eat them is “yes.”