What beach vacation feels complete without a taste of the shore? On your next beach getaway, be sure to stop and grab some oysters in Ocean City, NJ. While you might be accustomed to eating shellfish like shrimp or crab, venture outside your comfort zone and give oysters a try. Even if you’ve had oysters before somewhere else and weren’t entirely impressed, visit one of the many seafood restaurants in Ocean City to see how Jersey oysters rank on your list. If you’re nervous about trying oysters for the first time, don’t fear — we’ll take you through everything you need to know about oysters. Whether prepared cooked or thrown back raw, oysters might become your new summer family vacation staple.
Oysters live across the U.S. in brackish or salty waters from coast to coast. Before they become what you see on your plate, they start super small and tend to resemble clams as they freely float in the water. After a while, oysters cluster on rocks, shells or other hard surfaces under the water. As they grow, oysters fuse and form reefs for different marine life, like blue crabs or shrimp, to live.
Just as they are essential to marine wildlife, oysters also play a major role in keeping the ocean clean and are a source of food and income, as they provide jobs for many Americans. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 37 million pounds of oysters contributed to $192 million of the total $418.3 million marine species on the 2016 Aquaculture Production Highlights. So, how exactly did these ocean critters become a beloved beach bite? Oysters’ history goes back hundreds of years.