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What Oysters Can Tell Us about American History

The Original Oyster House commemorates oyster history and spotlights culinary dishes in an American Oyster Celebration.

Although National Oyster Day isn’t until August 5th, the Original Oyster House is starting early in July by commemorating oysters with its American Oyster Celebration menu which spotlights fresh Gulf oysters in a variety of delectable dishes. Many locals know the vital economic and environmental benefits oysters bring to our area, but what most oyster lovers may not know is the role they have had in American History.

Recorded history of the New England settlements captured a passion for oysters. Oysters were so sought and plentiful in colonial times that they were shipped back to Europe from America. During the early 1800s, oysters were eaten by wealthier people except in local harvesting areas. When production surged in the mid to late 1800s, all economic levels enjoyed oysters because they cost less than poultry and other meats. Love of oysters even inspired early Americans to transform them into culinary desserts. Mark Twain mentioned his favorite ice cream flavor was oyster ice cream in his book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. While some more popular oysters were transplanted from place to place in the 19th Century, oysters were able to keep pace with the demand. Today, the fate of the edible oyster relies on science, mankind and the environment. So as you join the American Oyster Celebration, don’t forget oysters are steeped in history and share a culinary moment with our colonial ancestors.

An authentic Gulf Coast experience must include the Original Oyster House signature Oysters on the Half Shell. What makes these tasty briny Gulf oysters more worthy, is this restaurant recycles the shell to help restore the oyster reef, prevent coastal erosion and enhance the oyster, fish, shrimp and crab population. In 2016, the Original Oyster House became the first restaurant in the state of Alabama to recycle oyster shells through the Alabama Coastal Foundation. In May 2019, an estimated 8.3 million oyster shells have been recovered from participating Gulf Coast restaurants.

For the oyster connoisseur who enjoys variety, the Shell Shocked Oysters are a great experience. This dish combines Parmesan garlic Oysters, Joe and Dave's favorite Oysters and fried oysters. Joe & Dave’s Favorite Oysters are baked with garlic cocktail sauce, topped with Bill-E’s Small Batched Bacon, locally cured and packed full of flavor and grated Parmesan cheese. When combined, the briny fresh Gulf Oysters and smoky bacon flavors make a wonderful marriage. Gulf oysters are considered some of the tastiest in the world so if you have never tried them you may be missing out.

The Original Oyster House has become the “must-go-to” place for great fresh Gulf seafood, service and Southern hospitality and for its panoramic waterfront sunsets. A top-spot for hand-shucked and fire-grilled oysters, the Original Oyster House has also become legendary for its homemade gumbo, cheesy grits with blackened shrimp, as well as handcrafted desserts including its famous Peanut Butter Pie.

The Original Oyster House (OOH) has two locations, Mobile: 3733 Battleship Parkway, on the Causeway and Gulf Shores: 701 Gulf Shores Parkway on the Original Oyster House Boardwalk. Both locations offer spectacular waterfront views and have been celebrated as the area’s finest family restaurants for the past 36 years. For more information about the Original Oyster House, please visit www.originaloysterhouse.com or call 251-928-2620.