Number 28: Oysters

28 Jun

Kathryn’s Seafood Mania continues with- you guessed it- oysters!  I got these from the same place I got the soft shell crab and, similarly to when I bought the crab, I asked the fish market guys approximately 1,000 questions before I left.  I first asked if the oysters were “good to go,” as I was planning on eating them raw.  The guy responded that they were, but I’d have to shuck them first.  Oh dear.  I hadn’t thought of that…

“Do you have a shucking knife?” he asked.  “Uh, I have a really big knife!” I responded, to which he replied nervously, “I’d like to advise against using a really big knife.”  He then went on to tell me exactly how to shuck an oyster and how I’d have to be extra careful, because if you cut you hand and get oyster shell into your bloodstream, it’s bad, BAD news.  This was going to be trickier (and scarier!) than I thought…

On the way home, Dan was reading all about oysters on his phone and we learned that oysters have to be alive until you eat them.  Yep, if they die before you eat/prepare them, they’re unsafe.  Apparently, any oyster that’s already open when you buy it is dead and you have to throw it out.  Luckily, all of ours were firmly closed.

When I got home, it was shucking time.  Following the fish guy’s instructions, I grabbed a screwdriver, put oven mitts on both hands, and got to work prying those little things open.  It was quite a sight.  I opened the first one and was ready to slurp it back, when Dan said, “Wait- that looks really weird and it smells AWFUL. Don’t eat that.”


The oyster had black goo inside of it and a little red dot.  I think it had died on the car ride home 😦  Bugger.  The next three were A-OK, though.

There was even a little tiny oyster stuck to a bigger one.  We showed no mercy, though, and ate that one, too.

When I was eating the oysters, I remembered the first time I had ever had a raw oyster. It was a couple years back at my town’s local Ribfest.  My friend and I had asked a middle-aged man at our picnic table how you’re supposed to eat them and he told us, “Well, just open up your throat and let it slide down, just like…” At that point, his wife gave him a stern look and he stopped talking.  Smart man.

I know lots of people are bothered by the slimy consistency of raw oysters, but it doesn’t really bother me.  You’re supposed to swallow the oysters whole, not chew them, so you don’t really get a good feel for the texture if you’re doing it right.  I think they taste delish- similar to mussels, but not quite the same.  I am very proud to say that I am now skilled in the fine art of shucking oysters with a screwdriver, so don’t be afraid to hire me as your private oyster shucker at your next gala or ball…where raw oysters are present.


10 Responses to “Number 28: Oysters”

  1. IntenseGuy June 29, 2011 at 6:00 am #

    Shucking oysters is a lot like getting crab- or lobster-meat out of the shell… a lot of work but it can be fun.

    Have you tried fried oysters? oyster stew? did you and/or Dan notice any libedo increase after eathing them? 🙂

    • Kathryn July 1, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

      Nope, never tried fried ones. Anything fried is good, though! As for an increased libido, that’s a negative.

  2. Laura in Cancun June 29, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    I can’t stand raw oysters! I like oysters in other dishes, though. You’re very brave

  3. Allison @ PickyEatingRD June 29, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    Blah yuck! I am not an oyster fan. In my mind if you are supposed to slurp them down whole, what enjoyment do they really bring?!!?

  4. Monique June 29, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    hhahahahaha love the old man’s comment!!!! I’ve only had oysters once, for Christmas Eve, it’s a French tradition. I had them with all kinds of lemon juice and garlic, but I can’t handle them. It’s slimy and reminds me of eating snot (not that I ever have). I’ll take the mussels over oysters.

  5. Big Onion June 30, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    I kinda like chewin’ on them a bit before swallowing. Reminds me that it’s food.

    I gotta say, though, I enjoy oysters much more battered and fried than raw. Ever had them that way?

    • Kathryn July 1, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

      I secretly chew ’em a little bit, too. I haven’t ever had them fried, but I imagine they’re tasty that way!

  6. Erin June 30, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    Thank God for Dan!!!! I would have been super sad if you died because you ate that first/bad oyster!!

  7. Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic December 29, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    I love, love, love raw oysters. My husband has tried them twice and hates them. It’s the slime I guess it causes a gag reflex in him. He will however eat mussels and really likes them. Clams, he’s not a fan. I myself love it all and now actually have a craving for raw Salmon after reading all of your entries! 🙂

  8. Jahn Ghalt May 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    That middle-aged man misled you (and he was tweaking his wife).

    You gotta chew ’em to really enjoy them. Cocktail sauce is nice, a bit of lemon. The better places serve a marinade to go with.

    I’ve found a little sprinkle of salt really peps everything up.

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