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DIY OysterFest

July 10th, 2011

Oyster

I’m back! (correction; I’ve been back for a little while, but it’s been a bit crazy around here and I hope you’ll pardon my silence) I have to admit that over the past month, I’ve barely done any real cooking. Summer’s hit us with a vengeance and in a place like Toronto, with such a short period of serious heat, getting together and enjoying the limited-time weather is top priority. So to get myself back on track with blogging, I’ll start by posting a little photo from Wednesday’s fun.

Oyster shucking

Some people love’em, some hate’em (there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground!). I personally could (and have before) down at least three dozen in a sitting, but had never shucked my own prior to Wednesday. If you’re a fan of oysters, but don’t want to pay the $2.25-4 apiece that you will at a restaurant, buy your own and learn to shuck! It’s quite easy once you get the hang of it. We got ours at Oyster Boy on Queen St. W and paid $190 for 14 dozen. Yes, I do mean 168 oysters. That’s an average of $1.13 apiece! Ours were a combination of Caraquet and Colville Bay from the East Coast, but the available selection will vary by day.

You’ll also want to make sure you have an oyster knife; don’t use your regular knives for this or you’ll end up ruining them (you also might not get the proper leverage to open the oysters easily, which is dangerous). For safety, use an inexpensive tea towel or bar mop to wrap around the oyster and cover your hand – just in case the knife slips. I say inexpensive, because despite our scrubbing the oysters before shucking them, they left quite a bit of debris on the towels by the time we were done. For condiments, lemon, horseradish, and tabasco are good basics, or you can make a simple mignonette.

There are a ton of videos you can find on how to shuck an oyster, but the best one in my opinion comes from the goofy guys at Rodney’s Oyster House. If you’re short on time and want to skip past the banter, start the video at 1:35.

Next up, I’ll share some photos from Nassau. Until then, enjoy the heat!

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