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Pearls of Wisdom

February is the only month with two R’s in it, so that’s double the reason to eat oysters this month.

Photographed by Eugenia Uhl

Many years ago, my dad — a small-town North Carolina boy studying English at Tulane — had a little too much fun on his first Lundi Gras and awoke on Mardi Gras Day feeling decidedly subpar. He was wandering through the crowds on St. Charles Avenue when a kindly older woman noticed he looked green around the gills, pulled him into a party of strangers and nursed him back to health with her miracle hangover cure: a dozen raw oysters. These days, my dad rarely finds himself hurting from a rough night out, but he still touts raw oysters to anyone who does. Despite my father’s endorsement, oysters aren’t widely accepted as a hangover remedy; popular culture lauds them more as the start of a fun night. In reality, there isn’t much basis in fact for either of these claims, but that doesn’t mean that oysters aren’t good for you; they’re low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals. And even if oysters don’t come through for you on Ash Wednesday or Valentine’s Day, they’re a healthy, Lent-friendly alternative to red meat and poultry.

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