One of the things that makes travelling special, is sampling the cuisine and culinary customs unique to the area you’re visiting.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. And when in the Lowcountry – go to an oyster roast!
The oysters around here grow in clusters, and according to bivalve aficionados, they have a distinctly delicious flavor. It’s as if you are experiencing the sea with each bite.
As the saying goes, any month with an “r” in it is a good time to eat oysters. So although January may be considered offseason for certain things – like, for instance, SC vacation rentals, be they our Isle of Palms vacation rentals or a Folly Beach house Charleston – January is prime time to eat oysters.
Fittingly, the world’s largest oyster festival is coming up this month. It’s the 32nd annual Lowcountry Oyster Festival, and it’s happening Sunday, January 25th from 10:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. It’s ranked as one of the top 20 events in the southeast, according to the Southeastern Tourism Society. It’ll take place on the grounds of historic and scenic Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant – convenient to all our rental homes South Carolina, especially our IOP beach rentals Charleston. If you’re in a luxury house on Isle of Palms, just cross over the IOP Connector, turn right onto Highway 17North, and following the signs to Boone Hall.
The festival will boast approximately 80,000 pounds of fresh oysters, steamed to perfection. You’re encouraged to bring your own personal oyster knife and gloves, although they will be available for purchase.
Here’s a link to the official website, which includes a way to buy tickets online: http://www.charlestonrestaurantassociation.com/lowcountry-oyster-festival/
General admission tickets are $17.50 advance or $25 at the gate (food and beverages pay as you go). There are also VIP tickets and perks available; check the website for all the details.
There will be lots of great live music and entertainment as well as the always-popular “Oyster Shucking” and “Oyster Eating” contests. This year the kids’ and family area had been expanded and has a special theme: Pluff-a-Pallooza. Here’s how the website describes it:
“Pluff-a-Pallooza will be a celebration of Pluff Mud, the natural habitat and home of oysters. Entertainment and activities will provide good, clean fun and will focus on celebrating the wonders of the Lowcountry’s nature and the importance of Pluff Mud for the oyster’s ecosystem balance.
Activities will include: the world premiere play of “Pearlie the Amazing Oyster” in the “Theater on the Half-Shell”, a Touch Tank of Lowcountry water animals with the Department of Land and Natural Resources, a meet-and-greet with the Charleston Waterkeepers Organization, entertainment with Miss Irene Rose on the Pluff-a-Pallooza stage, the Pluff Mud Craft Tent, the Sweet Grass Palace, Pluff Muddy Buddies balloon animals, Pluff Mud Cookie Decorating, Corey the Stilt Guy, Limbo with Local Mascots, photo opportunities, an interactive noise play area with The Noisy Oyster, juggling performances, an air-dancer, a bubble area, a jump castle, and much more.”
This is a very popular annual event, and they are expecting about 10,000 folks, so plan accordingly. You are welcome to bring chairs and blankets, though tents and coolers are not allowed.
One of our Isle of Palms luxury rentals makes a great home base for a visit to the festival, so call ASAP if you’re interested in booking. You’ll also benefit from low off-season rates on all our beach house rentals Charleston SC.
If you can’t make it to the festival, or if you just want to eat more of those delectable mollusks, you can buy them fresh and easily prepare your own in your Charleston beach house. Here’s a simple yet elegant recipe from one of Charleston’s favorite chefs, Frank Lee of Slightly North of Broad. It really highlights the natural goodness of the oysters and lets their flavor shine through.
Fresh Shucked Oysters on the Half Shell with a Fine Herb Butter Broiled on Top
1 lb. softened unsalted butter
½ cup minced chives
1 cup minced parsley
1 cup minced shallots
½ cup minced tarragon
Zest and juice of two lemons
Mix herbs and lemon with softened butter. Roll into logs in wax paper and refrigerate or freeze.
To prepare, top good quality shucked oysters on the half shell with a generous amount of herb butter. Broil or bake at high heat until butter melts and oysters crinkle.
NOTE: Compound butter is a delicious topping on most any fresh fish or shellfish, especially when broiled.
So happy shucking, and remember to call EP for the best in luxury beach house rentals SC.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger