Are oysters really an aphrodisiac?

February is for cuddling.

It’s about candles, dinner dates and romance. 

And oysters.

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Oysters have long been said to be an aphrodisiac, a food to enhance desire. Actually, it goes all the way back to the Romans. From what we know about their history, they didn’t need much help. 

The famed Italian romantic of the Age of Englightmentent, Giacomo Girolamo Casanova, was known to eat them for breakfast to boost his libido. He wrote chapters about seducing two women from a convent with flirtation and oysters. Author, Hector Bolitho’s 1929 book The Glorious Oyster (1929) only romanticized the oyster more as a sexual rite of passage. There are examples everywhere of oysters being a turn-on in contemporary society.

Easy there, Cassanova.

Easy there, Cassanova.

The science is still out on the oyster’s ability to jump start one’s sex drive, but serving them in all of our Tide Table Group restaurants, we’re pretty sure there’s something to it.

 “Oysters surely are aphrodisiacs, scientific studies conclude they have unique amino acids that are known to stimulate sexual desire in both men and women. More importantly, oysters are an integral part of a romantic dining experience. We have five senses. Taste is its own sense but it's greatly influenced by the other senses. Your food will taste better in a romantic setting, perhaps some music, candle light, maybe a nice view. Couple these things with oysters, you'll be stacking the odds in your favor,” says Matt Gregg co-owner of Barnegat Oyster Collective and our partner in the Rose Cove Oyster Co-op where we cultivate our Parker’s Pearl.

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We’re certainly not going to argue with a guy who has that much experience with oysters.

 And as far as Valentine’s Day, there is a certain connection. February oysters are some of the best of the year.

 “Oysters taste best in the winter. They store sugar (glycogen) which help them to survive a winter of no food. Historically, they're also much harder to come by in the winter. Bay ice, typical in February, makes oyster harvesting difficult. Having them at Valentine's Day is a special treat. A dozen Rose Coves Oysters is better than a dozen roses,” he claims.

 That’s a good point.

Oysters have always been a raw bar staple at Mud City.

Oysters have always been a Raw Bar staple at all of our restaurants, going back to the 80s when we opened Ship Bottom Shellfish. And Parker’s Garage is the only restaurant in New Jersey with our own signature oyster. But it’s at the Old Causeway that we’re able to really taste oysters year round. Recently, Josh and BJ came up with the amazing Banzai Oyster - a Graveling Point oyster with raw tuna, Eel sauce, spicy mayo, Wasabi-infused tobiko, and scallions. They’ll blow your mind.

Valentine’s Day weekend is a fantastic time to bring your date to the OC, order up a dozen oysters and see what happens.

Eric Magaziner