Oyster Love

By Jillian Bernardini - Mar 26, 2014 - 12:08 PM
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Equal parts tradition and addiction, these bivalve mollusks are a serious hobby in this seafood-centric town. Ranking just below, or even rivaling, New Englander's voracious appetite for lobstah rolls and chowdah, raw oysters can be found in the classiest of restaurants and the most rustic of Boston's bars. 

Five different species, a vast range of sizes and growth rates, and an expansive list of farming methods in coastal areas across the world makes for eating oysters an exciting experience to add to one's taste memory. Shucked to order is key, and a true lively [yes, also as in living-alive!] flavor on the palate can bring tastes that differ throughout the seasons and with oysters that even grow less than a mile apart.

Boston is home to a wonderful oyster culture with many renowned oyster bars, where you can always feel comfortable asking what waters, town, harbor, bay, or creek they're harvested from. I admit that John introduced me to my first oyster, and it's been one of our favorite ways to explore the city and try new, local varieties.

I hope to post a little clip of the most simple way to shuck an oyster to share with you, but there's a wealth of footage available across the internet that will aim at 100% finger-loss prevention! In a few words, take a shucking knife, pop open that hinge side with your arm acting like a lever, cut across the top of the shell to detach the muscle, remove the lid, turn the oyster 90 degrees, and sweep the knife under the meat, flipping the oyster in the process...all while saving as much liquor [that juicy salty liquid goodness] as possible, and press the shell into crushed ice to have a perfectly chilled oyster on the half shell.

A refreshing burst of salinity, buttery lush texture, and a lingering crisp finish that evokes memories by the coast and in the ocean. I think that's why we are going to get married by the water, all of our fondest memories together remind us of being by the ocean, traveling along the coast together, and slurping up a bunch of oysters whenever we get the chance.

Buy them online, at a trusty grocer like Whole Foods, or a local fish monger and fish market! Some of my favorites at the moment are Rocky Nooks, First Lights, and Row 34's....oh, and don't forget to be corny and clink shells like you're cheersing with champagne flutes! It adds that much more fun to eating oysters.