Friday, December 21, 2012

Oysters for Christmas

My paternal grandmother used to make oyster stew every Christmas Eve.  Some years, my parents would follow suit.  My father associates this Southern tradition with his Tennessee boyhood.  I enjoyed it,too, but since my parents and I lived in Florida when I was a little girl, the oysters weren't such an exotic treat to me.  My grandmother would also put oysters in her stuffing.'s site not only gives a recipe for stewed oysters, but it also explains the connection between Christmas and oysters.  In the days before refrigeration, it was not safe to transport oysters from the coast until cold weather set in.  In most of the South, including Tennessee, the cold doesn't hit until Christmastime.  Thus, the first shipments of oysters inland would coincide with the holidays.

I imagine that this also explains the old saying that it was only safe to eat oysters in months that have the letter r in them.


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