( Originally Published Early 1900's )
When spawning, oysters are milky, watery, and poor ; and are unwholesome food. The months of spawning are May, June, and July; but they require a month longer to fatten, and are seldom in good condition before September.
Wholesale dealers usually have four qualities or sizes of oysters for sale. The hest are known as extras, the second best as box, and then follow cullings and bushels. Retail dealers usually open them and sell them by the hundred, gallon, or quart, in any quantity de-sired. Other dealers make a large business of pickling them for home and foreign consumption, and packing them for inland places.
The largest oysters are not always the best, especially for eating raw and for stewing; those of medium size are generally preferred by epicures. Nor are those found in clusters as good as the single oysters. Oysters are not good when dead. To ascertain whether they are or not, as soon as opened and when one of the shells is removed, touch, the edge of the oyster gently, and, if alive, it will contract.