Its oyster season in the UK and from now until April our native oysters will be plucked out of the sea and devoured. I would be interested to see how many will be swallowed and how many will be spat out in disgust, as they are, for sure, an acquired taste.
My first introduction to oysters was in a restaurant in San Francisco as a child and the oysters I ordered came in a shot glass. In the tall shot glass was also far too much Tabasco sauce. I decided to throw-back the ‘drink’ and was
greeted with a display in my mouth whereby when I burst an oyster it fired salt and fire hot Tabasco down my throat making me gag. For the next few minutes I sat traumatized trying to wash the revolting taste away
thinking that no one in their right mind should want to eat an oyster. It took a few years before I tried another oyster and this time I soaked them with lemon juice and whilst it was better, I still really struggled to taste the
delicacy so many people talk of. It wasn’t until I visited Bluff on the very most southerly tip of the South Island of New Zealand that I began to love them. Bluff is famous world-wide for its oyster quality, which are taken
from the freezing seas which split NZ from Antarctica. My father in law lives less than an hour north of Bluff so on my first visit to his wonderful country, I travelled to Bluff as a tourist. At the time I had known his daughter (the wife) for less than a year and it was the first time I had met him, so I wanted to impress, but what I didn’t want to do was pretend to love raw oysters and then gag in front of him, so I confessed I wasn’t so keen. His response delighted m
“Mate, jeez, neither do I when they are raw, they taste like licking moss off the bottom of a boat, but lightly fried in a beer batter they are wonderful
He was so right. We took a sack of oysters back to their place and got to work cooking up a batch. We ate them very gently fried (not like you would batter scampi) and with lemon juice; it was a fantastic. My recipe suggestion would be:
Crispy Oyster Salad (starter)
- Lightly beer batter oysters
- Fresh leaves
- Lemon juice
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