Jenn Hall

Edible Philly: The 12 Oysters of Christmas – A Shellfish Guide

AS THE AIR SHIMMERS AND THE HOLIDAYS NEAR, we gather with chosen or inherited families and feast. So, too, do the oysters. This time of year, bivalves load up on glycogen and amino acids, preparing for a long, foodless journey into spring. They binge on algae and plankton, their meats turning bright, plump and sweet.

“The flavor is a little bit crisper than it might be in the summertime, when they’re coming out from a reproductive cycle,” oyster farmer Lisa Calvo explains. Sam Mink, owner of the Sansom Street Oyster House, agrees. “Oysters are so celebratory,” he adds. “And they’re at their best in November and December.”

So, while oysters are a summer rite of passage, these sips of the sea are at their peak, flavor-wise, right now. Here are a dozen locals to savor.

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Published in the Holiday 2019 issue

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