In What Months Can You Eat Oysters

New Orleans Culinary Tour, When Is The Best Time To Eat OystersYou have probably heard the old saying “Only eat oysters in the months with R.” This means you should have oysters September through April and not from May through August. Experts say nowadays this rule has become obsolete since most oysters you buy in stores or restaurants are farmed oysters. That’s why today we can enjoy oysters all year round.

Where Does the Months With “R” Rule Comes From?

Back in the day, before oysters were farmed and bred for commercial purposes, the rule did make sense. When oysters were harvested from the wild, the season was closed on them during much of the R-less months so they could reproduce. Oyster in their natural habitat spawn in summer. During that time, they actually also get soft and rank. This means the oysters aren’t as tasty when they spawn. Furthermore, before we had refrigeration, it wasn’t always safe to eat the raw animals that may have been sitting in boxes on dock for hours.  Another reason for the rule, was higher red tide levels in the summer, which happens when there are higher concentrations of an algae that is  toxic to humans. Eating shellfish that absorb this toxin could lead to what is called paralytic shellfish poisoning. Bacteria is also more prevalent in warmer waters. Modern-day oyster farming and strict environmental rules and enforcement have changed the landscape of oyster eating so it’s now safe to eat oysters year-round. However, some experts say that oysters still taste better in fall and winter than they do in summer. You be the judge.

Arnaud’s Restaurant, oysters
Arnaud’s Restaurant, oysters
Arnaud’s Restaurant Shrimp Remoulade, oysters
Arnaud’s Restaurant museum, oysters

New Orleans Culinary History Tours

We are dedicated to preserving and teaching a unique part of our country’s and this city’s cultural heritage.

Join us for FOOD, FUN, and LOCAL TIDBITS as we guide you through the French Quarter and into some of New Orleans’ most celebrated and historic restaurants including Antoine’s (est. 1840) and Tujaque’s (est. 1856). We are Locally Owned & Operated! Enjoy classic New Orleans dishes at every stop along the way. Discover the difference between Cajun and Creole cooking. Our tour guides are licensed and knowledgeable about the history of New Orleans.

One of the joys of travel is exploring the local culture with the benefit of local insight.

New Orleans Culinary Experience

Start your adventure with a New Orleans Cooking cooking school demonstration and learn some basics of Louisiana cooking.

Combine our popular tasting tour with a New Orleans cooking school.

Start your adventure with a New Orleans Cooking cooking school demonstration and learn the basics of Louisiana cooking while enjoying a tasty lunch. Lunch is followed by a culinary tour of the French Quarter that will immerse you in the history of New Orleans.

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New Orleans Classic Drinks Tour

Tour immerses one in the unique drinking and cocktail culture of New Orleans dating to the 19th…

New Orleans Classic Drinks Tour

The perfect New Orleans Cocktail Tour, our New Orleans’ Classic Drinks Tour immerses one in the unique drinking and cocktail culture of New Orleans dating to the 19th century when Bourbon Street was once home to opera! The tour visits some of our most historic French Quarter restaurants and bars, and celebrates some of our classic, historic drink

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French Quarter Tasting

French Quarter Tasting Tour Tasting Tour of the French Quarter will immerse you in the history of New Orleans while learning how its unique cuisine evolved.

Tasting Tour of the French Quarter-

Immerse yourself in the history of New Orleans while learning how its unique cuisine evolved.

We tour select historic restaurants while discussing their culinary contributions – including the two oldest (Antoine’s and Tujague’s, established in 1840 and 1856, respectively).

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