What's the difference between select oysters and standard oysters?

The difference between standard oysters and select oysters is in their size (and therefore also generally their cost). Standard oysters are basically normal-sized oysters and the smallest, while select oysters are larger than normal and usually cost more.

Shucked oysters are generally designated into four grades according to size. The largest are called counts, with the group designated as not more than 160 oysters per gallon or under 160 per gallon, depending on area/locale and type.

Extra select oysters are the next largest oysters in size. These generally fall into ranges of either 161 to 210 oysters per gallon or 160 to 189 per gallon.

Select oysters normally range from either 210 to 300 oysters per gallon or 190 to 239 per gallon. Standard oysters, the normal sized and smallest oysters, usually fall into ranges of either 300 to 500 oysters per gallon or 240 to 400 per gallon.

While some business owners in the New Orleans area said they have been having difficulty getting the amount of oysters they need, one of the largest oyster processors in the Louisiana industry said the Gulf oyster supply for traditional holiday meals was good in November 2012 despite complications still remaining from the BP oil spill. Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas harvest areas that were recently opened assisted in oyster availability for the 2012 holiday season.

Oyster dressing and oyster stuffing are frequently found on many holiday tables at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Watch the video below and learn how to make Paula Deen's recipe for oyster dressing:

Updated on Thursday, November 22 2012 at 06:05AM EST
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