Here in the lowcountry many residents and tourists alike enjoy oysters by the bucketful. Thing is, you can only eat them if there’s an ‘R’ in the month, right?
However, it’s the European Oyster which is not good to eat during the late spring and early summer, as those oysters are different in that the young oysters are retained by the mother until their shells form, and so eating them at that time of year will often result in a mouthful of tiny gritty shells.
American Oysters have no such issues, and in fact the prime time for oyster flavor is during the months of May and June.
So why the traditional oyster harvest in the fall? Oyster demand is at its highest at this time of year, and so they command the highest prices at market. Flavor actually declines for the start of the summer into the fall though, as the oysters lose their glycogen content after spawning, and they become more watery.