Low Country Oyster Roasts

//Low Country Oyster Roasts

Low Country Oyster Roasts

Oyster roasts. Whether you like oysters or not, the oyster roast is a part of our Low Country heritage. From October through May, you will see oyster roasts from backyards to plantations.

Coming from the north east, I grew up enjoying oysters on the half shell or Rockefeller mostly. If we roasted shell fish at all it would be on the beach and it involved clams and lobster. I have been to oyster roasts in Ohio where they usually occurred in the fall, (you obviously would not be roasting anything outside during the winter months in Ohio)! However, the best and most festive oyster roasts I have ever experienced have been right here in Charleston. It is a fun and sometimes messy affair but always delicious! Hence, if you show up wearing anything “nice” like, say, white slacks, a blue blazer and bow tie, you’re probably going to wind up looking like you’ve been shipwrecked by the time you’re done. It is not like roasting marshmallows so you do not have to bring a long stick and you won’t be doing any of the roasting yourself . I think it is helpful while standing (yes standing….oyster roasts are almost always standup affairs; there’s no bonfire and definitely no singing. In fact, when the oysters are ready there isn’t even any talking. Folks are just too busy stuffing their faces), with your dull, stout, non-pointy knife, to wear a heavy duty glove, preferably one with some heat resistance like a leather work glove. You only need to wear one, on your non-dominant hand (the one holding the oysters.) You could wear two, but it’s considered (for no explicable reason) to be a little odd. Paper towels or cloths should be abundant for obvious reasons and your host will probably have a limited supply of these items available for use, but it’s a good idea to bring your own.

The long plywood tables have evenly spaced holes to make it easy to throw your empty shells in them.  Strategically placed trash bins await below these holes. Hot oysters are brought to the table and unceremoniously dumped in large piles in the areas between the holes. This is when you find out what kind of crowd you’re up against. Often, your companions will be polite, only taking a few at a time and even helping those at distant corners of the table to get a share. But don’t be surprised if the kindly looking grandma you were pleasantly conversing with a moment before turns into a ravenous, greedy, and semi-feral oyster eating machine when those first oysters hit the deck……


By | 2016-03-28T14:26:08+00:00 March 28th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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