I consider oysters such a treat. That would number me in the minority of my family, but maybe part of a much greater group in the world. This post has to do with that bivalve, the oyster genus Ostrea, that should be enjoyed on many levels- the first being its delicious eating.
Oysters can be difficult to describe in what makes their flavor something some of us like so well. Have you ever wondered how to shuck a fresh oyster? I have. Always buying them prepared and in containers at the grocery store, it was with interest that I clicked on the video further down in this post, from “The Brooklyn Kitchen”.
How do you enjoy oysters? One of the ways my late Dad and I liked them was in turkey stuffing. My mother used to make oyster stew, but my favorite was steamed oysters from an oceanside shop in Florida (the Apalachicola oyster, “Shack Style with onions and colby cheese). Pick up the recipe before you surf on…
Here is something similar- just add a bit of Colby cheese:
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup celery, sliced thin
1 12-ounce container Florida oysters, drained, reserve liquid
2 teaspoons garlic, chopped
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Heat skillet on medium-high; add butter, onions and celery. SautÃ© until onions are translucent and beginning to turn brown. Add oysters, garlic and remaining ingredients except cornstarch; mix well. While mixture is cooking, dissolve cornstarch in oyster liquid; add slowly to skillet, stirring until thickened. Serve in 8-ounce gratin dish or over cous-cous, pasta or rice.
Ever wonder where that saying, “the world is your oyster” comes from? Circa the year 1600, William Shakespeare wrote his play “The Merry Wives Of Windsor’; and in Act 2, scene 2, 2â€“5 we find Pistol declaring: “Why then the world’s mine oyster/Which I with sword will open.” It is the equivalent of “Carpe Diem” or a declaration that all one wants is within ones grasp.
There are types of oysters… they are not all the same!
Apalachicola are my favorites. They are from the “Apalachicola Bayâ€”thirty miles of shallow oyster paradise on the Florida panhandleâ€”produces 90 percent of Floridaâ€™s oysters…it takes the oysters about three years to reach three inches. Apalachicola is the last place in the United States where wild oysters are still harvested by tongs from small boats.”
Read all about oysters at The Oyster Guide, where you can also profile “What Kind of Oyster Eater are You?”
My friend Joanne created the perfect Kitchen magnet (from Zazzle) for oyster lovers:
Of course, oysters are not just for eating, they produce pearls! At least a certain type that are not true oysters, produce pearls, and that has made the cultured pearl industry our main source of these beautiful sea gems. I have to say I would take a pearl over a diamond any day.
We will have to save the topic of pearls (also good mood helium), for another day….