• Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    You say Oyster, I say Erster - Let's just shuck and slurp.

    On Saturday and Sunday, October 14th and 15th, 2006 Wellfleet’s sixth annual OysterFest takes place down on the Cape. Shucking contests, cooking demonstrations, steel bands and more. If I weren't already otherwise engaged, you'd find me happily tasting my way through the various types of Wellfleet oysters now available.

    It's been an oyster-filled week for the Leather District Gourmet. Starting with my anniversary dinner at Grill 23 which we opened with Island Creek Oysters from Duxbury, to a visit to B&G Oyster on Tremont Street, to and the latest Cook's Illustrated which arrived, its illustrated back cover featuring: you guessed it, .

    In the midst of this mollusk mania, our wonderful floral artisan cousin shared a memory of her Cortes Island visit, where she literally picked up oysters off the beach, shucked and ate them. She estimates that she ate 2 dozen. I'm putting you on notice, Elizabeth, we're going to have belly up to some oyster bar (or beach!) someday soon and have at it.

    For an excellent overview of the Wellfleet oysters, their characteristics, and an interesting insight into the phenomenon of branding, see Bed Hopping.

    Oysters are an excellent source of protein, a good source of Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Magnesium and Phosphorus, Vitamin B12, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Manganese and Selenium. Eating a half dozen will average only 60 calories.

    I remember taking my friend Jesse to an oyster bar in the 8th arrondisement of Paris. I think it was one of the oldest ones in the city of light. We ate lots of oysters and I introduced her to my favorite wine pairing Sancerre. Or was it 1er Cru Chablis? Champagne or sparkling wine works pretty well, too.

    “As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.” Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

    A perfect week and it's only Thursday.
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