Taste of the OBX: Old-Fashioned Oyster Roast


Taste of the OBX Oyster Roast

Cooler temperatures on the Outer Banks of North Carolina bring to mind certain traditions of the region, one of those being a good old-fashioned southern oyster roast. This food tradition is the perfect combination of three southern staples: outdoor barbecues, seafood, and social gatheringsand has a history that dates back to the original inhabitants of the land.

History Behind the Oyster Roast

In the early 1600s just after English settlers arrived in Chesapeake Bay, they stumbled upon a group of Native Americans cooking oysters over a fire pit. The Native Americans fled upon discovery, but the settlers took it upon themselves to eat what was left behind. Needless to say, they were pleasantly surprised.

"We came to a place where they had made a great fire, and had been newly roasting Oysters," wrote George Percy, one of the original Jamestown settlers. "When they perceived our coming, they fled away... and left many of the Oysters in the fire. We ate some of the Oysters, which were very large and delicate in taste."

The early settlers took what they learned, and as they say, the rest is history. A favorite coastal food tradition was born. Over the centuries, southerners have perfected this dish to what it is today.

Hatteras Island Oyster Roast

Old fashioned southern style oyster roastReady to embark on this coastal culinary adventure? You can have your own southern-style oyster roast, or you can come to Hatteras Island for a roast on the coast of the Outer Banks. The NC Coastal Federation is the host and you are invited to be a special guest at the Hatteras Island Island Oyster Roast. Will you come?

The Hatteras Oyster Roast happens on Saturday, February 6 from 2-5p.m. Gather around the fire at Oden's Dock in Hatteras and indulge in the fresh oysters, seafood chowder, fried fish, homemade desserts and more delicious refreshments to please your palate. Enjoy live music by the band Dragonfly as you immerse yourself in all of the sights, sounds and smells of the oyster roast tradition. You might want to brush up on your corn hole skills before arriving, so you can compete for some of the prizes being offered. You'll be in good company among the NC Coastal Federation staff, board members and volunteers. Bring your friends!

The $15 ticket includes all-you-can-eat oysters, one serving of seafood chowder, fried fish and a non-alcoholic beverage. If you're going for belly-buster status at this event, you can buy a $20 heavy-hitter ticket. Register online in advance for the Hatteras Island Oyster Roast for $15, or you can pay $20 at the door. You're going to want to come hungry for this event and we guarantee that you'll leave happy.

The Hatteras Oyster Roast is slated to be an outdoor event so dress accordingly. In case of uncooperative weather, the oyster roast will be held at the Hatteras Village Civic Center.

We love our coastal traditions and hope you do, too. We hope to see you there!

Have you ever been to an old-fashioned, southern-style oyster roast? What did you think?