Oysters, the sexy delicacy from the sea

Back in the day, when I was just a tender child, the thought of eating anything raw was absolutely out of the question. It just didn’t seem like the right thing to do. I know much better now that my palate has become more sophisticated and I have acquired the taste for many things raw, particularly oysters.

I went to the famous Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station, NYC last Friday to quench my insatiable desire for oysters. The Oyster Bar is a reputable establishment for decades; they sell thousands of oysters from all over the country each day. So, if you are going to eat oysters, make sure they are from a place that specializes in them like The Oyster Bar. I strongly advise against eating them from just any restaurant.

Oysters have been linked to love and sexuality for centuries. The Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, sprang forth from the sea on an oyster shell and promptly gave birth to Eros. Also, in the second century A.D. a Roman satirist named Juvenal wrote about the reckless ways of women after they ingested wine and ate giant oysters. The infamous Casanova is said to have consumed about fifty oysters a day to increase his virility and libido.

There is no scientific proof to support the oyster aphrodisiac theory. Skeptics claim that the theory is supported through the power of suggestion. According to scientists, the mind is the biggest aphrodisiac. Personally, I’d like to think that oysters are aphrodisiacs. I like the way I feel when I eat them. The choice is yours.

Oysters are highly nutritious. They contain zinc, proteins, vitamins A, C,  D, they are also rich in thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and low in cholesterol and calories. I also like to add that oysters are highly addictive. I get a strong craving for them every once in a while, and I have a thorough need for them.

If you decide to create an oyster dinner or appetizer from the comforts of your home, I have provided a helpful list of suggestions that will be useful.

Oyster purchase and prep tips:

  1. Must be fresh (no fishy smell)
  2. Oysters should be shut, and if one isn’t, (although it should be) it should shut emphatically when tapped.
  3. They should be arranged so that they are lying flat.
  4. Do not store in water
  5. If you don’t intend to eat them right away, cover with a damp towel and refrigerate for up to one day.
  6. Scrub under cold running water
  7. Shuck them, add spices and eat!

Condiments:

  1. Tabasco Sauce
  2. Horseradish
  3. Fresh lemon juice
  4. Saltine crackers
  5. Jalapeno peppers
  6. Old bay seasoning
  7. Cocktail sauce

You can use what you like and adjust accordingly for desired spiciness.

Perfect pairings:

  1. Champagne or a bubbly wine like Prosecco
  2. White wine, like a Sauvignon Blanc or un- oaked Chardonnay
  3. Any flavorful beer of your choice
  4. Pinot Noir

For some tasty oyster recipes, check the following website:  http://www.oysterrecipes.org/

Shucking Oysters:
Slide in the knife!
Step 1:
Hold the oyster firmly in one hand, knife in the other.  Slip the knife blade between the top and bottom shell right by the hinge on back. The person in this picture is holding the oyster with her bare hands – WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS! Drape a towel over your open palm and hold the oyster that way – the shell ridges are sharp!
Break that bad boy loose!
Step 2:
Run the knife the way around the oyster until you get to the other side. This sounds easy until you’re actually doing it! Some oysters just don’t take kindly to people sticking knives in their shell.  Be brave and put some muscle into it, but be careful – this is where you’ll cut or stab yourself.
Pry him apart!
Step 3: Using a twisting motion, pry the top and bottom shells apart. Be gentle but firm so you don’t lose any of the liquor inside.
Eat him up!
Step 4:
Cut the oyster free from his shell.  He’ll be connected by a tough knob on his underside; slide your knife under and sever it.  You can either go to the trouble of setting down your blade and using a little fork to pick the oyster out, or you can do like the natives do and just scoop him with your knife and pop him in your mouth.  Drink the liquor out of the shell.
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