Missing From the Table: Oyster Dressing

Will there be oyster dressing on your table this year?

In New Orleans, the traditional Thanksgiving side is hard to come by, thanks to severely reduced Gulf Coast oyster harvests in the wake of the BP oil spill, so cooks there are getting creative.

The Times-Picayune reports that those who want to make their families' special oyster dressing recipe this year may be thwarted by sky-high oyster prices, supermarket shortages and washed-out flavor, since most markets won't sell their oysters unwashed.

Some are choosing to ignore the cost in order to keep the tradition alive; others are serving the dressing, but in smaller portions. And one resident who is forgoing oysters is using his choice to make a statement to guests:

"I've made a chicken dish I call BP Chicken, because we're having it in place of the oyster stew we would have had if they hadn't had the BP spill. These people are coming from North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, and this is my way of saying this oil spill is affecting us all."

We've always been inspired by the food traditions of New Orleans, where residents take a particular pride in supporting local sources, so it saddens us to see this special dish in trouble. We hope next year sees an oyster comeback.

Read the article: Gulf oysters for Thanksgiving? They're available, but pricey

Is oyster dressing a tradition on your Thanksgiving table? Has the oyster crisis affected your plans?

Related: Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes From The Kitchn

(Image: Flickr member FotoosVanRobin licensed under Creative Commons)