National Oysters Rockefeller Day – January 10, 2022

The National Oysters Rockefeller Day on January 10 is a day that celebrates the history of the dish, Oysters Rockefeller and how it stood the test of time. Oysters have been around for 180 million years and Neolithic men consumed vast quantities of oysters 5,000 years ago. Today, humans have reached the peak dish made of these shellfish, namely Oysters Rockefeller. This is a luxurious baked dish crafted in the French Quarter of Louisiana.

History of National Oysters Rockefeller Day

Oysters Rockefeller is an innovation in the art of cooked oysters and is loved by people across the world. The history behind the invention of this dish is fascinating.

A humble family-owned restaurant in New Orleans established by Antoine Alciatore —  Antoine’s Restaurant — specialized in dishes made with snails in the late 1850s. At the end of the 1880s, there was a shortage of European snails. This was when Jules Alciatore, the son of Antoine Alciatore, decided to replace snails with locally sourced oysters. He combined a butter sauce with green vegetables and invented a rich dish with oysters as the primary ingredient. It was so extremely rich that it was named after the millionaire, John D. Rockefeller, who was the wealthiest man at the time.  

In just a few months, grilled Oysters Rockefeller became a popular dish across America and then across the world. Many chefs and restaurants now serve their variant of Oysters Rockefeller. The original recipe is a closely guarded family secret. It has been lab-tested and some of the ingredients, including parsley and chives, were figured out, but the original has never been copied successfully.  Today, Antoine’s restaurant is serving hundreds of servings of this dish every day and has dished up millions of portions of Oysters Rockefeller since that first. Antonie’s celebrates this day by offering orders of Oysters Rockefeller for just $5 for those in New Orleans.

National Oysters Rockefeller Day timeline

1840
Establishment of Antoine’s Restaurant

Antoine Alciatore establishes his family-run restaurant in New Orleans.

1850
Antoine Makes a Specialty Dish of Snails

Antoine creates a specialty dish made of snails called ‘Snails Bourguignon’.

1889
Birth of a New Dish

The restaurant begins to use oysters as a replacement ingredient for snails and invents Oysters Rockefeller.

2017
First National Oysters Rockefeller Day

Antoine’s celebrates the first-ever National Oyster Rockefeller Day to cherish the dish’s history.

National Oysters Rockefeller Day FAQs

How do you make the best oysters Rockefeller sauce?

Melt butter in a skillet. Sauté garlic for 2 minutes to infuse the butter. Place bread crumbs in and in a small bowl whisk together all ingredients as per your recipe. Cover and chill 1 hour before serving with oysters. 

What are the ingredients in New Orleans oysters?

A 1986 laboratory analysis by William Poundstone revealed that its primary ingredients were parsley, puréed and strained celery, chives, olive oil, and capers.

What are the health benefits of eating an oyster?

The health benefits of oysters come from their vast stockpiles of minerals, vitamins, and organic compounds. It is rich in essential trace minerals like zinc and selenium. It also contains high levels of protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron, copper, manganese, and selenium.

National Oysters Rockefeller Day Activities

  1. Visit Antoine’s for the special dish

    Want to celebrate the National Oysters Rockefeller Day in style? Take your friends, family and visit Antoine’s restaurant to relish this special dish. If you are not near New Orleans, try a local version of the recipe.

  2. Become a chef

    Don’t worry if you can’t visit Antoine’s restaurant, buy some oysters and start preparing the dish on your own! You can even spice up the evening by throwing an Oysters Rockefeller party.

  3. Reef restoration

    Oyster reefs are the most destroyed marine habitat on Earth, with 90% of wild reefs lost. So, you can contribute to your local reef restoration projects and let them grow!

5 Awesome Facts About Oysters That Will Blow Your Mind!

  1. Oysters are great for the environment

    An Oyster can filter 1.3 gallons of water per hour and thus balance the marine ecosystem.

  2. Oysters can change their gender

    Oysters can change their gender during their lives, starting as males and changing their sex to females.

  3. A good environment makes tasty oysters

    Since oysters filter so much water, they get their unique flavor from their environment.

  4. The Guinness World Record for eating oysters

    The Guinness World record for the most oysters eaten in 3 minutes is 187.

  5. Natural oyster pearls aren’t round and white

    Contrary to popular belief, natural pearls aren’t round and white, they can be yellow, rose, or black and can occur in various shapes.

Why We Love National Oysters Rockefeller Day

  1. Oysters are fun

    Eating oysters is super fun, whether you eat them raw or prepare a special dish, an oyster meal can be a great way to spend time with your family and friends.

  2. Oysters Rockefeller is healthy

    Oysters are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, and D. Consuming just 6 oysters would meet your daily recommended intake of iron, iodine, copper, magnesium, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and manganese.

  3. Oysters help the environment

    This is also a day to raise awareness about the destruction of oyster reefs and the many benefits that oysters bring to the ecosystem. While we enjoy eating oysters, we can also be activists who work to protect the reefs.

National Oysters Rockefeller Day dates

YearDateDay
2021January 10Sunday
2022January 10Monday
2023January 10Tuesday
2024January 10Wednesday
2025January 10Friday

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