A Traditional Bowl on the Eastern Shore
Dive into a warm bowl of creamy, buttery oyster stew on Christmas Eve and keep up a family tradition or start a new one. This concoction of comfort and joy has long been a holiday staple for many and the abundance of succulent oysters on the Eastern Shore make it a regional favorite. The practice of serving it on Christmas Eve started with the Irish Catholic immigrants who were asked to abstain from eating meat on the eve of a religious holiday. It has since become a welcome addition to many yuletide traditions and a year-round choice on many menus.
There are some variations but the basics are all the same -- a mixture of succulent oysters, cream, butter, and seasoning. This recipe for Maryland Oyster Stew is easy to make and offers the rich taste of flavors of the Chesapeake Bay. Some folks add celery, onions and chopped potatoes and it wouldn’t be complete without those crispy little oyster crackers and a dusting of Old Bay on top!
Local restaurants make it easy for you to sample this steamy delight without doing the work. Chefs take pride in their stew recipes and you will appreciate the effort. Harris Crab House, Kent Narrows is a family owned restaurant that opened in 1981 and is a popular mecca for seafood lovers. They are praised for their oyster stew made fresh with the catch from local watermen. Locals have their special haunts. The Suicide Bridge Restaurant in Hurlock has been a popular gathering place since the 1950’s. Along with a full seafood menu, many say they have the best oyster stew around. Homemade or chef’s specialty -- chow down and enjoy a loving spoonful of Chesapeake Bay goodness!