1.Oysters are special so they get special words:

Don’t say “oyster juice,” say “liquor.”

Oyster liquor is the natural juice inside the oyster that keeps it alive once it’s out of the water. It is unacceptable to rinse or dump that juice out of the oyster before consuming it raw. That juice is precious and should taste amazing, and that’s why it’s referred to as liquor. It should be clear not cloudy.

2. Don’t say “water” say “terroir.”

Oyster beds at low tide in Indian Neck Beach in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

It’s a French word that you may have heard used with wine. Terroir (pronounced “tehr-wahr”) means the characteristics of a place—its climate, geology, and wildlife, for example—that impact food produced there. Jacobsen says terroir affects the flavor of an oyster just as much, if not more, than it does wine because the effects are less subtle. “Oysters take on the exact same salt level or whatever water they’re in,” he says. So ocean oysters will be much saltier than oysters from the northern Chesapeake, for example. Other terroir elements that affect flavor include the algae in the water (because oysters eat algae) and the water’s minerality.

3.Don’t say “salty” say “briny.”

They mean the same thing except briny is “salty the way sea water is salty.” Typically speaking, East coast oysters are brinier than West coast oysters — especially oysters from Maine and Massachusetts — but there are exceptions.

Other good descriptors and when they apply:

“Sweet” — When the oyster is kind of mild and sweet instead of so salty, and often these come from the Pacific Northwest. Kumamotos are super sweet.

“Melon” — Washington oysters, often. Goes hand in hand with sweet in the case of Kumamotos.

“Creamy” — When the oyster is buttery and not as firm, and often happens with Pacific Northwest oysters. Kusshis are super creamy.

“Fresh Biscuit” — Beginners oysters that don’t have a super-strong briny flavor, like Beausolais.

“Cucumber” — British columbia oysters, often. Fanny Bays have a cucumber finish.

“Plump” — Usually due to slow growth in nutrient/algae-rich water.

“Springy” — Usually due to cold, deep water like you find on the east coast.

“Copper” — When oysters have a very strong, acidic or rusty flavor.


1. Oysters contain more zinc than any other food. Zinc is necessary for proper growth and development, strengthens the immune system and promotes healing.

2. Oysters are heart healthy. They are high in omega – 3 fatty acids, potassium and magnesium which can help reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke and lower blood pressure.

3. Oysters can help you lose weight! They are low in calories, low in fat and a good source of protein which makes you feel fuller after eating.

4. Oysters are a good source of other essential nutrients. These include vitamins A, E, and C, zinc, iron, calcium, selenium, and vitamin B12.

5. Oysters can help improve your energy. They are a good source of iron which helps the body transport oxygen to individual cells giving you more energy.

6. Oysters can help lower your cholesterol. A study done by the University of Washington found that eating oysters can help raise the HDLs (good cholesterol levels) and lower the LDL’s (bad cholesterol levels).