Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Oysters

I had thought oysters tasted like nasty gooey sea water the first time I tried them. I had thought I'd never get a better oyster then in Brittany, so after nearly gagging on what I was assured was an excellent specimen, I put oysters on the short list of Food Items I Have Tried As An Adult And Simply Do Not Like.

Well, I tried an oyster again this weekend. Somebody else doctored it with lemon juice and some sort of tabasco-like substance, and those--along with a faint pungent saltiness--were what I tasted. Quite pleasant! I'm not about to spend hundreds of dollars to refine my oyster palate, but they come off my list.

This means that I should try eating another persimmon sometime.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous:

Hey, glad you liked them.

Somehow it worked out, when I was a late teenager, that any gal my brothers or I brought around the house would get offered some fresh raw oysters that my Dad had just picked up.

I'm thinking when my son has girlfriends, I might have to try this.

CC

2/28/2007 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Jackmormon:

The first time around was in the company of a different boyfriend and his parent. I was embarrassed about not liking them, as the then-boyfriend's father ate them with great gusto and presented them to me with such happiness. Your plan may not work out exactly according to plan, as it were.

2/28/2007 07:52:00 PM  
Anonymous John Thullen:

A fresh oyster should taste exactly like a splash of sparkling, briny ocean water on a coolish, sunny day. Two (at most) tentative bites just to sample the texture and to swish the oyster liquor around and down they go!

There is something thrilling about ordering a big, iced platter of assorted oysters at a table of folks who look askance at the mollusk.

It's like being a pirate and removing your wooden leg as you hop across the room to ask the prettiest girl to dance.

Anything could happen.

2/28/2007 08:16:00 PM  
Anonymous eb:

I had persimmons in Taiwan that were surprisingly good. I've never been a fan of oysters, though it's been years since I tried one.

2/28/2007 11:09:00 PM  
Anonymous emir:

I've never had oysters, but they don't sound very exciting.

The weirdest thing I ever ate was raw beef liver (probably calf's liver). I was in Tokyo for 2 days once and went out drinking with a friend of my cousin's and his pals. It was in a sort of neighbourhood shack/bar and you got assorted meaty snacks free with the beers. Most of them were just fried bits of meat. Anyway I was more or less dared to eat this, after I had no problem keeping up with the boys drinking (the girls didn't drink or even speak much, just giggled a lot). It tasted pretty much like you'd expect.

That bar also had one of the nastiest toilets I've ever used.

3/01/2007 05:29:00 AM  
Blogger My Alter Ego:

What's this about spending hundreds of dollars on oysters? Get yourself to an oceanside oyster bar where you can get a dozen raw oysters for three dollars. At 25 cents a bivalve, you can't go wrong.

3/01/2007 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Jackmormon:

See, this here thread demonstrates the divide. On the one side, we have Charley and Thullen and MAE, who are waxing poetical about the seaside and the brine, who want the whole world to experience their joy. On the other side, we have emir and eb, whose reaction is: eh, gross. I know which side I want to be on.

3/01/2007 11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous John Thullen:

"I know which side I WANT to be on."

I recommend four glasses of champagne to move things along. Also, make sure the oysters are absolutely fresh (if you can see the ocean from your seat, you're on the right track.)

Consider the wonderful idea that a single oyster during its life has filtered and cleansed a surprisingly large volume of the seawater on planet Earth.

I wouldn't dwell on it, though. If you find yourself dwelling on it, have two more glasses of champagne, kick your shoes off under the table, and just let go.

3/01/2007 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Jackmormon:

Four glasses of champagne go with everything.

And no, I wouldn't care to dwell on the bivalve's role in filtering the world's water.

3/01/2007 03:09:00 PM  
Anonymous DaveB:

MAE, where's this 25-cent oyster bar?

Oysters among my favorite things. It's true -- they taste like the sea. Isn't it amazing?

3/01/2007 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger My Alter Ego:

DaveB, this should get you started.

3/02/2007 11:18:00 AM  
Anonymous John Thullen:

This afternoon I made ox-tail stew and I thought of Jackmormon's blog as a place to file this announcement, and since this post deals with foods which start with "o" that a person might not try on an every day basis, I hereby declare it to be delicious.

I used beef tails and marinated them in some roughly cut oranges, cinnamon sticks, and cloves.

Then I browned the tails (I love writing that) and then some onion, carrot and celery in butter and olive oil. Maybe a little garlic, but I don't think the dish needs it. Season as you go.

Then combine the two and add red wine, an equal amount of good port (if you can stop pouring it down your gullet) and lots of beef stock. Simmer for three or four hours until the meat relaxes off the bones.

It's a sensuous dish, like oysters, but like oysters, there are certain things you are required to ignore, like where the tails have been all their lives.

More champagne, or port.

3/05/2007 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Jackmormon:

Where did you get the oxtails? It doesn't seem like the sort of thing that one could simply pick up at the local grocery store.

3/05/2007 11:41:00 PM  
Anonymous John Thullen:

I had been thinking about making this dish for some time and I found the oxtails (actually beeftails) by accident while browsing the meat department at the local version of Kroger's. Yeah, I couldn't believe it.

I've thrown away the packaging so I'm not sure whether they came from the store's butcher section or from another vendor.

I'll check next time and let you know.

3/06/2007 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Jackmormon:

I bet Fairway (local excellent grocery story) will have them. If not, some random ethnic butcher's shop somewhere in the five buroughs will.

3/06/2007 08:46:00 PM  
Anonymous John Thullen:

This dish is a Caribbean staple, apparently.

Try a Caribbean market of call a Caribbean restaurant and ask where they procure theirs.

I have a bunch of recipes. The one I used came from someone in the state of Washington. I picked it up on the web.

Yesterday, Emeril made braised oxtails on his show.

Incidentally, I've invited a bunch of people to dinner this weekend and, as a group, they should start the Society for Picky Eaters and Special Diets.

It's too much to go into now, but so far I've decided I can boil water and serve it during the evening. I might come back here next week and wax sarcastic on everyone's likes and dislikes and tell you what I prepared.

I hate it when people start having breathing difficulties and breaking into hives over my food. Or, alternatively. scrunching up their noses and leaning over and smelling the food for toxins, poisons, and suspicious ingredients.

I kid.

There will be no raw oysters or oxtails.

3/07/2007 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Jackmormon:

Recently, my honey and I were invited to dinner at another couple's place. At the last minute, somehow the plans changed, and *we* were cooking instead. Well, they got Brussels sprouts.

I can't decide whether I was disappointed that they liked 'em.

Good luck with your dinner, John.

3/07/2007 12:11:00 PM  

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