Texas oyster supply booming, just in time for Thanksgiving feasts
By Sarah Moore
This summer, oysters were pricey and hard to find, but as we enter the holiday feasting season, the world is Southeast Texas’s oyster, or vice versa.
Local restaurants and seafood retailers report a good supply and falling prices on the tasty bivalve, despite some Louisiana oyster beds being still out of commission after the BP oil spill.
Texas oysters — as well as other seafood — became more popular with Louisiana customers after the spill shut down fishing and oyster beds along the Louisiana coast.
“We had a bunch of people (from Louisiana) call and try to get a bunch of everything — they wanted truckloads of shrimp,” said Nick Gutierrez, manager of Katie’s Seafood Market in Galveston. “They were freaking out over shrimp and oysters.”
The demand drove prices up, but they’ve dropped since then.
“They’re a little high, but not crazy like they were at one point,” Gutierrez said.
However, it seems the true-blue oyster lovers of Southeast Texas aren’t letting higher prices or oil spill fears taint their enthusiasm for the delicacy.
Steve Edwards, owner of The Seafood Lover, a retail seafood shop, said his biggest oyster business is right before Thanksgiving.
“It’s very traditional,” he said. “Older folks all used oysters in their (turkey) dressing, and it’s gotten to where a lot of younger people are too.”