Oysters. (Or ersters depending on your New Orleans accent.)
We love our oysters chargrilled, fried, in a dressing, and raw.
The legend of oysters exists that we should only be eating oysters in months that have the letter “R” in them. Why is this?!
The most reasonable argument is that Red Tide occurs the most often in the summer heat. Red Tide is when there are high amounts of an algae that is toxic to humans. These things are checked very often today and you cannot harvest if this is happening. So, it’s unlikely to be this reason.
Another theory is that oysters spawn during the summer time. This gives them a chance to reproduce. Apparently they are NOT delicious right after they procreate.
However, the most reasonable explanation would be that before we had regular refrigeration, you did not want to eat a raw animal that had been sitting outside in the sweltering heat.
Well, can I eat oysters during June, July, & August then?
The answer is yes. Due to the way oysters are farmed now, they make a lot of them sterile so you don’t have the “spawny” problems. We also have better food safety practices than we did back in the day.
Pro Tip: If they smell funny, don’t eat them. Otherwise, throw some horseradish on it and enjoy!