The oyster roast is a celebration of community and the bounty of the sea, two of South Carolina‘s most enduring qualities. This shot was taken by Abby Wells of Charlotte in February 2007. Abby writes: “Bowen’s Island is a secret well-kept from tourists and other non-native Charlestonians. Along with a very lucky group of co-workers from Charlotte, I was invited to this particular oyster roast as part of a weekend retreat and regional sales meeting being hosted by our Charleston colleagues.
“About 12 years ago, I had the extreme good fortune of living in the Charleston area, on the Isle of Palms. At that time I was indoctrinated by local friends on the ins and outs of oyster roast etiquette.
“I came away with these two gems:
#1 – A proper Charlestonian does not eat her shucked oysters straight off of her oyster knife.
#2 – ‘Wear something comfortable’ does not mean the same thing to all people, especially the fine ladies of Charleston, who wear very trendy, very cute outfits to oyster roasts without getting a speck of plough (“pluff”) mud on them, and keep a lipstick in their pocket for post-shucking touch-ups.
“The oysters are ‘roasted’ in the huge steamer pots, then shoveled in great heaps onto large wooden tables where guests, standing, proceed to shuck their own oysters and toss the spent shells into the round hole cut in the center of the table (to be collected and recycled back to the oyster beds). Although not a regular beer drinker myself, nothing makes a better pairing with this wonderful combination of salty oysters and spicy cocktail sauce than cold beer (in a glass, of course).”