Oysters: Main Image

Buying Tips

Quality oysters are easy to recognize. Fresh oysters smell clean, like the ocean. The shells of live oysters are tightly sealed.


Atlantic oysters, grown along the Atlantic Coast from Nova Scotia to Florida, are small, and have a relatively smooth shell and a mild taste. The Pacific oyster, a briny-tasting delicacy introduced from Japan in the 1920s, ranges in size from the tiny Kumamoto oyster to the large, heavy-shelled common Pacific oyster. Olympia oysters are a rare, slow-growing species native to the Pacific Coast. Flat oysters, natives of Europe, are grown in cold waters on both coasts of the United States. They have an intense yet delicate taste. Oysters get their specific taste from the areas where they are grown, and they are often sold under these place names. Oysters can be bought live in the shell, shucked, fresh or previously frozen, or smoked.

Copyright © 2017 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. www.healthnotes.com

Learn more about Healthnotes, the company.

The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2017.