If you’ve ever been to Wellfleet OysterFest, you’ve seen thousands of people enjoying freshly opened Wellfleet Oysters by the bushel full – served on paper plates. While this might work for this huge event, there are better ways to serve them at home.
The difficulty of serving Wellfleet oysters is their non-uniform rounded bottom shape. Rarely will one have a flat bottom that allows the oyster meat and liqueur to stay in the shell. So there are a number of ways to present your oysters that will overcome this challenge.
- Crushed Ice – Oysters on the half-shell should be served chilled. The best way to do that is to serve them on a bed of crushed ice. Most of us don’t have an ice machine at home that can churn out crushed ice on demand, but if you have a food processor, you’re in business. If you don’t have a food processor, you can try crushing ice in a blender or by hand with a mallet. Once you have the needed ice, place it evenly in a rimmed bowl or serving dish. Add some salt to the ice which will help it not to melt as fast. Finally place your oysters onto the ice and you’re ready to serve.
- Rock Salt – You can serve oysters on a bed of rock salt. Rock salt won’t melt like ice and can be used again and again if you save it. Like the ice, you can place it evenly in a rimmed bowl or serving dish and nestle the oysters onto the salt. The other option is to create small individual piles of salt and place an oyster on each one.
- Aluminum Foil – You can serve oysters on a crinkled piece of aluminum foil. This is a great way to hold your oysters while you are shucking and it can make an effective low-cost presentation, especially if you have a lot of oysters to pass around.
- Oyster Plate – Buy an Oyster plate. Wellfleet has many wonderful gift stores that offer many oyster related items. One popular item is an oyster plate with individual rounded areas that typically holds six oysters. It’s best to have a couple of these plates available to serve your Wellfleet oysters.
Bill Rice is the author of The Wellfleet Oyster Cookbook and is founder and Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect and share food memories through customized printed cookbooks filled with treasured recipes. Follow us on Facebook, Instgram, YouTube and Pinterest!