I just returned from a multiple day business trip to Boston. I like Boston, so this is a good place to need to go.

I had lunch and dinner with various people during the trip. Each time my dining companion - whether from the East, Midwest, West Coast, South - wanted to start with oysters. And, as every time I am dining with someone who enjoys oysters, they insist in knowing if I will eat oysters with them.

I find this striking. Is there a rule one cannot eat oysters on one’s own? I will happily drink a dry, up, Boodles martini without asking permission; order clam chowder; enjoy sashimi; whether you indulge - or not. It is my meal. You eat what you want. I eat what I want. This is one of the neat things about restaurants.

So what is it with oysters?

I care not a whit whether you eat raw meat, quinoa, whole sparrows. So why does one need both permission and joint promised consumption to eat a silly oyster?

Is there an oyster bonding ritual of which I am aware?

I never touch the slimy things myself but people do seem to want others to validate their choice when consuming them. It is a bit bizarre. Maybe some oyster eaters will chime in on whether they eat them when dining alone of it is a social thing.

Elk… I believe that the consumption of oysters as a group is more of a social thing… on the same lines of having drinks together before the entree. Drinkers don’t like to drink alone…so I’m thinking oyster eaters may feel the same about eating oysters alone.Could be they feel more comfortable eating them in a group setting…

And if they get sick from bad oysters they can suffer together too.

You generally order Oysters by the dozen, on the half-shell, therefore there is plenty to share. I think it is a courtesy to offer to share.

1 Like

But many places offer a large number of varieties and price them individually.

True, but nobody orders just 1 oyster. Some foods are meant to share- like chips and salsa.

As a family (my wife, 10 year old daughter, and myself) we will usually order all the different types of oysters they offer times 3 and try them all, by type, at the same time, then share our opinions of each as we go. Fun!

I agree, this is the best method.

And it would be uncommon to order only one, but one could order a trio or so for one’s self alone.

From the comments it appears consuming oysters is a highly social activity, unlike enjoying a cup of lobster bisque.