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Scientific Name: Crassostrea virginica
Common Name(s): Eastern Oysters or American Oysters
Season: Year-round, peaking September–April
Similar Species: Clams

Bake, Broil, Deep Fry, Grill, Raw, Sauté, Steam


Mississippi Gulf Oysters are prized for their plump rich meat and taste that has a natural touch of salt. Their meat ranges from tender to firm, making them a versatile ingredient in a number of oyster recipes.


Mississippi Gulf Oysters have pale white to gray shells that are rough with ridges or bumps and can grow up to 8 inches. Mississippi Gulf Oysters are available year-round, usually spawning in the late spring’s warm waters. Click here to Get Mississippi Gulf Oysters Recipes


FRESH: Live Fresh Mississippi Gulf Oysters should have closed shells. Open shells should close when tapped. If they don’t close, do not purchase them.

FROZEN: Do not buy frozen seafood if the package is open, torn, or crushed on the edges. Avoid packages with signs of frost or ice crystals.


FRESH: Live Mississippi Gulf Oysters should be stored at 40–45 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s best to use Mississippi Gulf Oysters as soon as possible; however, they can stay fresh from 10–14 days when properly refrigerated. Clean Mississippi Gulf Oyster shells and refrigerate in a bowl covered with a damp towel. Shucked raw Mississippi Gulf Oysters can be stored in their liquid, covered and refrigerated for up to 10–14 days.

FROZEN: Frozen Mississippi Gulf Oysters can be frozen in-shell, on the half shell, or as the shucked meat only. Freeze freshly shucked Mississippi Gulf Oysters in an airtight container with the natural oyster liquid. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight.

Preparation and Cooking

Mississippi Gulf Oyster shells will open when cooked. Discard any that do not open. When keeping and preparing fresh or thawed Mississippi Gulf Seafood, it is important to prevent raw seafood bacteria from spreading to ready-to-eat food. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw foods.