Until recently, I have never had oysters. I figured they had to be good, because you see and hear about them everywhere… from raw oysters on the half shell to oysters Rockefeller.
I had my first oyster exactly a month ago at my work’s Christmas party. The restaurant was serving raw oysters on the half shell, with either lemon or Tabasco sauce. It seems you either love oysters or you hate them. (Actually, it’s probably closer to either you love them, or you’ve never had them and think you hate them.) So with all the oyster haters in the room, there were plenty to go around for the oyster lovers. I had several. They were tasty.
I won’t try to describe their taste, because it’s very hard to put in words. Saltiness is the first taste that hits you, and this varies based on variety of oyster. There are definitely other flavours, but they’re harder to nail down. (Here is a very interesting article on the taste of oysters.) But if you like sushi, you’ll likely enjoy raw oysters.
So a month later, we decided we’d shuck our own oysters at home. We have a fantastic fish monger just around the corner with a great selection of oysters.
After a brief description of the different variety of oysters from the woman at the counter, we headed back home with 3 varieties for an taste comparison. And for about a third of the price that you’ll pay for oysters in a restaurant, you can’t go wrong.
The only thing that could get in our way is the shucking process. The first one was a challenge, but with a proper oyster shucking knife in hand, you quickly get the hang of things. (We were warned that one of the varieties was a challenge to shuck; I saved those for last.)
So if you have access to them, give oysters a try at home. They make for fun food times.