When the water gets cold, oysters put on glycogen to insulate themselves. That's why Northern oysters are sweeter than Gulf oysters in the fall. The colder the water, the sweeter the oysters -- up to a point. When the water temperature falls below 40 degrees, oysters stop feeding and shrivel up. Canadian oysters are skinny this time of year, and Gulf oysters are the best ones on the market.
It's going to be a really great year for Gulf oysters because this cold snap is dropping the water temperature to seldom-seen lows. Average temperatures in Galveston Bay this morning were around 51 degrees. The low at Eagle Point was right at 40 degrees. Too bad hurricane Ike left Texas oystermen without a lot of oysters to harvest this year. But it's cold all across the South, so the Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida oysters ought to be very sweet too.
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Go get a dozen and enjoy.