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(bring up a little jazz here)
or any big parade in *********s. More to the point, if you dust ‘em in corn meal and fry them…have ‘em on French bread with a little mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato…or grill them over hot charcoals right in their shells topped with butter, garlic, Parmesan and a little parsley…you’ll easily discover why the nation’s best chefs have had a love affair with the **************** for a long, long time.
(Interview #1 Local Chef)
Whether you eat them in moderation or by the dozen…and however you decide to prepare them, you’re bound to discover what the experts have known for years- that Louisiana oysters consistently add unmistakable character and flavor to any meal!
More than a third of the nation’s oysters come from Louisiana, so it’s no surprise that Louisiana oysters are showing up in great recipes and celebrated kitchens from coast to coast. But first, oysters must be harvested and those methods have evolved over the years.
(interview here with oyster Captain)
In the beginning, oyster harvests were limited to the depth of water, weather and the physical strains handpicking placed on the body. The latest method for harvesting oysters is the dredge, first developed by a Croatian fisherman in 1905. The dredge involves using a V-shaped iron frame with a long ring-mesh bag towed behind the boat. All methods of harvesting oysters are in use today.
The ************************* is one of the most successful oyster fisheries in the country and through proper management; its continued success is evident. In fact, Gulf Coast oyster processors have taken the lead in developing new technologies to ensure safer alternatives to traditional raw oysters even for at-risk consumers. Three post harvest treatment processes now exist for the raw oyster before it reaches the consumer. Each process has unique advantages and characteristics that provide greater convenience for all customers while reducing the risk for the “at-risk” customer.
(insert interview with owner of oyster processing plant)
The *** “fresh frozen” technology keeps all the flavor and appeal of non-processed oysters. IQF oysters are typically sold with the top shell removed and many oyster aficionados prefer them for their quality, taste and convenience.
A private ********* firm first developed******************************************* in 1995. The process involves submerging the raw product into warm water followed by immediate cold-water immersion. Finally, HHP or high pressurization processing was pioneered in the meat and juice industries; however, its application to oysters was initiated in Houma, LA in 1999. This type processing begins with the cleaning, washing, sorting and grading of oysters before pressurization begins. After the pressurization, the oysters are then shucked for the half shell or packaged as banded oysters.
Oysters are still produced in one of three ways: natural, managed and cultivated. Natural oysters grow and are cultivated without human intervention. In contrast, managed natural oysters are supervised by harvesters who scrape the oyster beds periodically to reduce clustering and cultivated oysters are grown in man-made beds where immature oysters are transported for their maturation.
No matter how the oyster is produced, the Louisiana oyster resource is stable and strong and its industry one of the most successful in the country.
(Interview #2 Local Ralph Brennan)
Louisiana produces more oysters than any other state and the industry is responsible for more than 4,500 jobs and an economic impact of millions and millions of dollars. Besides the well-known taste and desirability of the oyster, oysters also contain the most concentrated natural source of zinc, essential to maintaining a strong immune system. Oysters help maintain collagen and elastin fibers that give skin its firmness and help prevent sagging and wrinkles…and oysters can help improve vision. Oyster are even helping in the fight against breast cancer and all in all are one of the most nutritionally well-balanced foods, containing protein, carbohydrates and lipids.
(Interview #3 Local Chef)
Could there be something to the legend that oysters are the food of love…these gems of the sea? One thing’s for sure, these delicious nutritious treats are now safe for everyone to eat and, like a good wine, oysters feature nuances in flavor that depend on the bay, bayou, lake or inlet where they’re cultivated. The road to the mouthwatering oyster begins in the chilled briny depths of Louisiana’s finest oyster beds. From there, the oysters are processed and quickly delivered to restaurants far and wide…and that’s where the fun begins!
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