What is an oyster prairie?

A prairie oyster includes a raw egg.

A prairie oyster is a drink consisting of a raw egg, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. It is a folk remedy for relieving a hangover, which typically involves the morning side effects of drinking too much alcohol the night before. A prairie oyster looks like an oyster because the egg yolk must be left whole. Worcestershire sauce, usually made from fermented anchovies, vinegar and spices, and hot sauce, which is typically a mixture of chili juice, vinegar and spices, is added to the egg in a glass. The prairie oyster is swallowed in one gulp.

Prairie oyster is a folk remedy for relieving hangovers.

Eggs are rich in B vitamins, which are depleted by the chemical reaction caused when the body metabolizes alcohol. They are also a source of protein and fat, which can relieve stomach upset or feeling sick. The salt in Worcestershire sauce can replace minerals lost due to the dehydrating effects of drinking too much, and the hot sauce can cause sweating, a way for the body to release toxins through the skin. A variation on the prairie oyster recipe involves adding tomato juice, which is rich in vitamin C, also lost through chemical reactions to alcohol in the body.

There are two schools of thought on whether it is better to eat a prairie oyster before or after drinking it. Some feel that the amount of vitamins and protein consumed in a prairie oyster before a night out can help it metabolize alcohol more efficiently and cause less distress the next day. This can also, however, lead to increased alcohol consumption, because the person feels that they will be protected from its effects. Others advocate preparing a prairie oyster right when you wake up, to lessen hangovers throughout the day. However, there is no clinically proven cure for a hangover other than time for the body to process the alcohol out of your system.

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Some people might add vodka or brandy to a prairie oyster. The thought process behind this is that a hangover is actually the body going through alcohol withdrawal – reintroducing a small amount of alcohol back into the system will alleviate the unpleasant effects. This is commonly called “dog hair” from the English expression, “bite the dog that bites you”. However, it is widely discredited by many medical experts who claim that continued practice can lead to alcohol dependence and abuse.

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