Savor, don’t chew!
The season for oysters has arrived. Not that you can’t eat them at any time of year, but from early autumn to late winter they are simply at their best. Oysters are among the symbols of a „bon vivant“ lifestyle, and probably not only because they contain nourishing and health-promoting substances, but for their aphrodisiac effects.
France is clearly the oyster power of the world and boasts the longest tradition of eating these Bivalves. However, the ancient Romans long before Christ knew of the oyster. Initially, under the hard shells of delicacies from the oyster family they searched for pearls, some kinds can actually create a pearl, but when they did not find a pearl at least they ate the oyster. They liked it so much so that they built the first breeding ponds in estuaries, where salt water meets fresh water.
Like other delicacies however a knowledge of oysters is needed. True connoisseurs and gourmets recognize subtle differences in taste. While the Mediterranean oyster has a somewhat metallic salty taste, the Pacific oyster is said to be sweet and the Atlantic oyster can be surprising salty. These perceptions are supported by oyster lovers and science, the nuances not only involve the place of origin and type of oysters, but also salinity, or saltiness of sea water, climatic conditions, the environment and even the dynamics of the tides. And the tide is an important condition for catching oysters. Before the actual oyster harvest, farmers move to a place where the tide turns at regular intervals, clams have become accustomed to a regime of time on dry land and in water. This adaptation is very essential for their transport. Oysters dig in when there is a low tide and are filled with sea water, thanks to the gathered water they stay fresh for the end consumer.
And how does a true connoisseur eat an oyster? Sprinkle a few drops of lemon on a fresh oyster, and suck in the scallop, hold it in your mouth, enjoy the moment without chewing it and then swallow. Popular dressings for oysters are red sherry vinegar and shallots.