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Fulton prepares for 32nd annual Oysterfest

By by gheni platenburg/gplatenburg@vicad.com
Feb. 23, 2011 at 1:05 p.m.
Updated Feb. 22, 2011 at 8:23 p.m.


STUFF YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW ABOUT OYSTERS Folklore says that oysters should be eaten only in months with "r's" in them - September, October, etc. However, oysters can be eaten 12 months a year. The notion that oysters should not be eaten in "r"-less months - that is, months that occur during warm weather - started in the days when oysters were shipped without adequate refrigeration and could spoil.

FARMED OYSTERS ARE A BETTER CHOICE THAN WILD.

Oyster farms can actually improve the quality of oceans and bays. Oysters in offshore farms will feed on particulate matter and nutrients that might otherwise pollute waterways. You'll also avoid depleting wild populations at risk from invasive crabs and snails.

OYSTERS REALLY ARE AN APHRODISIAC.

Very few scientific studies have shown that oysters can actually raise your sexual desire, but they still could help spur it on. Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food; zinc is a key mineral for sexual health in men, and severe cases of zinc deficiency can lead to impotence.

OYSTERS ARE GOOD FOR YOUR GARDEN.

Oyster shells are high in calcium, which makes for healthy soil. Calcium not only balances the soil's pH, it's also a vital nutrient that strengthens cell walls, leading to stronger, healthier plants. You can crush the shells left over from your next oyster bake and add them to your compost pile.

YOU CAN GROW OYSTERS IN YOUR BACKYARD.

There are a number of plants that taste like oysters, including oyster mushrooms and black salsify, also called "vegetable oyster."

Sources: www.rodale.com/benefits-eating-oysters;

www.globalgourmet.com/food/egg/ egg0298/ oyfacts.html

HOW TO DRESS AN OYSTERServe the oysters on a half shell on a bed of ice, being careful not to dump out the tasty liquor from the shells. There are two schools of thought on how to eat oysters: plain or with a sauce. A bit of lemon juice, mignonette, cocktail sauce, horseradish, hot sauce, or even a dab of wasabi can all enhance the flavor of an oyster. No matter how you like them, just be sure to suck the whole thing out of its shell, juice and all for the most delicious experience.

Source: www.sheknows.com/ food-and-recipes/ articles/809162/ how-to-eat-oysters

IF YOU GO What: Oysterfest

When: March 3-6

Where: Fulton Navigation Park, 402 N. Fulton Beach Road

Cost: Admission is $1 on Thursday night and $3 for the remainder of the nights, for ages 12 and older.

Other: Both the grounds and arts and crafts tent open at 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, both the grounds and arts and crafts tents open at 10 a.m.

The city of Fulton is gearing up for its 32nd annual Oysterfest.

The festival, which starts March 3, is sponsored by the Fulton Volunteer Fire Department.

"It's a very family-friendly event," said Margaret Bowman, one of the festival's organizers. "There's something for people of all ages."

The annual festival is held to raise money to go toward purchasing equipment for the fire department.

Bowman said the festival first began to fund the purchase of a "jaws of life."

This year, the fire department is hoping to raise money toward building a new fire house, which is estimated to cost around $1.5 million.

"Everything they have has been paid for through proceeds from Oysterfest," Bowman said about the fire department.

Festival-goers can partake in the carnival, as well as the raw oyster eating-and-shucking contests.

Also, there will be live music, dancing, arts and crafts vendors and food booths, including an oyster bar and beer garden.

All the food booths are maintained by area non-profit groups.

"You're helping the community any way you look at it," said Bowman.

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