For a historical background on oysters, please read Oysters Part 1-Introduction; The seduction from the sea.
Buying, Care and Cleaning:
Buy the freshest oysters possible from cold waters (look for oysters from the Pacific Northwest, both coasts of Canada, and places in the far southern hemisphere like New Zealand and Chile). Do not eat or buy any whole oysters which are open as this means they have died and are not safe for consumption. Sometimes a live oyster will open slightly. Give it a tap and if it snaps shut, it’s still alive. If not, toss it.
Store fresh oysters in the refrigerator with the cup side down and their flat side facing up. Cover with a wet kitchen towel. Do not store them on ice because sitting in melting fresh water can kill an oyster. Don’t store oysters in an air-tight container because lack of oxygen can kill them. …