Can you eat pearl oysters

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the query, “can you eat pearl oysters”. We will also discuss different types of oysters, their uses, the nutritiousness of oysters as a food, and more.

Can you eat pearl oysters?

Yes, you can eat pearl oysters. Oysters are considered a delicacy in many countries and it has many health benefits as well. However, the oysters that are best in taste may not be pearl oysters.

What are the types of oysters?

There are two main types of oysters.

  • True oysters
  • Pearl oysters

True Oysters

True oysters belong to a family of oysters named Ostreidae. Most of the oysters that are used for food belong to this type of oyster. Usually, true oysters are unable to produce pearls.

Various types of true oysters are farmed commercially by oyster farmers to be sold for food. Oysters are considered a luxury food in many parts of the world. China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand are some countries that farm oysters for food on a large scale.

Pearl Oysters

Pearl oysters belong to a family of oysters named Pteriidae, more commonly called feather oysters. They can develop commercial-sized pearls in their shells over 5 to 6 years. However, Pearl farmers have devised new methods to reduce this time down to three years.

There are several types of pearl oysters such as Akoya Oysters, Tahitian Oysters, and South Sea Oysters that are widely used in pearl oyster farming. Some Of these oysters can be used multiple times for farming while some die when the pearls are harvested.

What is the food of pearl oysters?

Pearl oysters, like other oysters, feed on plant debris, bacteria, and algae in the seawater. 

They can filter the water and feed on the organic material that is caught. The gills of oysters have adapted into filtering devices that are called ctenidia. 

The particles that are retained from these devices are transported to the mouth by an internal mechanism and the food particles are further sorted there.

How are pearl oysters harvested?

Usually, pearl oysters are found in oyster beds in the sea. In shallow water, they can be easily gathered by hand or small rakes. In deeper waters, long-handled rakes or specifically designed oyster tongs are used to collect the oysters. Another method used to collect pearl oysters in the deeper sea is diving.

What are the uses of pearl oysters?

Pearl oysters are used to get pearls, for meat, and mother-of-pearl shell products. 

Some oysters can produce over 30 pearls at once while some may only produce one. Pearl oyster meat is plump and juicy. Mother-of-pearl is the word used to call the nacre that is in the inside layer of the oyster shell, from which the pear is created. It is used to create luxury jewelry items.

How to clean pearl oysters for cooking?

First, clean the shell of the pearl oyster with a brush and wash it well. Then you can boil the pearl oyster and pry open the shell immediately after taking it out. Then the meat can be taken out.

Another way is to soak the oyster shells in soda water. You can make soda water by dissolving baking soda in hot water. After cleaning well in soda water, you can rinse the pearl oyster well using clean water. After that, it can be pried open to remove the meat.

There are many other different ways of cleaning pearl oysters to prepare them for cooking, depending on the method of cooking. You can find another detailed guide to cleaning oyster shells here.

What are the different ways of preparing oysters?

There are a lot of methods of preparing pearl oysters for consumption. They can also be eaten raw, but this is not recommended. Eating pearl oysters raw may sometimes cause food poisoning. 

Many common methods of cooking will work perfectly on pearl oysters as well. Steaming, frying, boiling, smoking, baking, roasting, and even making into pickles are some methods that work on pearl oysters.

What are the health benefits of eating oysters?

There are many health benefits of eating pearl oysters. Pearl oysters are rich in zinc, iron, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is known to help improve the function of the brain and nerves. Zinc is a very important mineral that supports growth. So eating pearl oysters can be very beneficial during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence. 

Iron is an essential mineral that supports the formation of hemoglobin that distributes oxygen received by lungs all over the body through red blood cells. Calcium supports the body to develop and maintain strong bones. Vitamin A helps to maintain a healthy immune system, lower the risks of some cancers, and also helps keep up the health of your eyes.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “can you eat pearl oysters”. We have also discussed different types of oysters, their uses, the nutritiousness of oysters as a food, and more.

Citations

https://min.news/en/food/123c363ba7de91cf42374a6f45030760.html
https://www.britannica.com/animal/bivalve/Ecology-and-habitats
https://theprettyplaneteer.com/does-removing-the-pearl-kill-the-oyster/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.