How many oysters could an oyster shucker shuck if an oyster shucker could shuck oysters?
The answer is: quite a lot!
During the North American Seafood Processing Expo, a very special event takes place. This event is called the Boston Oyster Shucking Competition.
Oh yeah, we forgot to mention, oysters are a big global business. Their overharvested habitats are being replenished and renewed.
There’s even an Oyster sommelier based in Brooklyn, NYC named Julie Qiu.
And while in Boston, you might want to swing by Neptune Oyster.
Judging the Oysters
Shuckers are randomly assigned one Atlantic and one Pacific oyster bags each. Oysters are pre-packaged by the sponsors 6/bag. The Shucker will remove, and arrange the oysters for the contest. At the chief judge’s discretion, the Shucker may appeal to swap out any oyster considered to be of improper quality for the contest. Extra Oysters for swapping out will be available. The Shucker will shuck, all 12 oysters – 6 East, 6 West as quickly and cleanly as possible, and present of the designated tray for presentation to the judges. If the Shucker gets a “bad”, “dead”, “box”, “winterkill” or otherwise normally “un-serveable” oyster – shuck, and present anyways – as this is not your fault, and the judges will not penalize for this. Pretend it is good to go. Make sure you shuck and present 6/6 – all 12 oysters.
Judges will add seconds to each contestant’s shucking time according to the following penalty table:
- An oyster not completely severed from its shell: Add 2 seconds
- An oyster presented on a broken shell: Add 3 seconds
- An oyster presented with grit or other foreign substance (take out blood): Add 3 seconds
- Blood in the oyster – from a cut hand – is DQ (disqualification): Add 3 seconds
- An oyster not placed properly on the shell: Add 5 seconds
- A missing oyster: Add 20 seconds
What: 15th annual Boston Oyster Shucking Competition
When: Monday, March 14, 2022
Where: Boston Convention Center
Time: 2:30 p.m.