The Raw and the Cooked

Picture of oystersIt seems to me that most people are repulsed by the thought of eating fresh raw oysters.

A taste for oysters ‘a la natural’ is an acquired taste, best developed at a young age but certainly obtainable later in life.

I personally hadn’t seen a fresh oyster until I became an apprentice chef. I’d eaten the tinned cooked variety plenty of times, but there is simply no substitute for fresh.

Ok, I admit the texture of a fresh raw oyster is slimy, gooey and challenging to say the least (there’s comparisons I won’t mention).

However, in my opinion the flavour of a freshly shucked live oyster is the most exquisite gastronomic experience a person can have.

Just a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of flaked sea salt evokes memories of the spray of Queensland’s tropical surf on your lips (what a dreamer!).

There are two main varieties available in Australia, mostly the farmed Sydney Rock Oysters, a delicate but full-bodied flavour, or the larger Pacific Oyster.

The Pacific Oysters are quite popular because of their generous size and price, but they are often purchased frozen and are a little fishy in flavour, and not my favorite.

When buying fresh (in the half shell) look for a plump, shiny oysters with a fresh sea water smell.

Shallot Dipping Sauce

Combine 2 tablespoons of finely chopped shallots, half a teaspoon of chopped red chili (seeds removed), 1 tablespoon of finely chopped wild rocket leaf, 50mls of red wine vinegar, 50mls of extra virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon of flaked sea salt.

Spoon over a freshly shucked oyster and live an adventure.

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