TO SHUCK AN OYSTER
will need a good oyster knife or a sturdy blunt knife.
Look for a thick, solid handle made of sturdy wood
with a short, thick blade. Strength and durability
are more important that the size or sharpness.
person in this picture is holding the oyster with
there bare hands - IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED DOING IT
THIS WAY! Either purchase a heavy pair of gloves that
are thick enough to resist sharp edges, but not so
bulky that you can't move your fingers or drape a
towel over your open palm and hold the oyster that
way - the ridges of the shell are sharp!
can buy a special glove, which is a sort of chainmail,
but they are expensive. If you are opening oysters
all the time then not a problem but for more casual
use make do with a teacloth folded a couple of times.
fresh oysters from a reputable seafood dealer. Using
a stiff brush scrub the oyster under running water,
this will clean away any sediment or seaweed on the
shell. Hold the oyster firmly in one hand, knife in
the other. Insert the knife blade into the seam between
the top and bottom shell right by the hinge on back.
Use the point to do this then gently by firmly rock
the knife back and forth.
the knife has been inserted, twist the blade to open
the hinge a little more. Repeat this process until
you have cut the hinge completely. This sounds easy
until you're actually doing it! Some oysters just
don't take kindly to people sticking knives in their
shell. Put a little muscle into it being careful not
to cut or stab yourself. This is when your likely
to do that!
the oyster knife along the inside edge between the
shell and the meat. While doing this be careful to
keep the oyster level so the liquid inside does not
spill out. Using a twisting motion, pry the top and
bottom shells apart.
is one muscle that looks like a thick cord, this muscle
is what holds the shell together. It runs from the
oyster to the inside shell. Cut this with a knife.
You can either go to the trouble of setting down your
blade and using a little fork to pick the oyster out,
or you can do like the natives do and just scoop him
with your knife and pop him in your mouth. Drink the
liquor right out of the shell!
you're having them fried or broiled, cocktail sauce.
If you're eating them raw, not a darn thing or maybe
some lemon wedges.
are available seasonally. The rule that generally
holds is that any month (in the English language)
that contains the letter R is a good month for oysters.
prefer cold water. More importantly, warmer waters
mean an increase in bacteria levels and then they
can be dangerous to eat.
oysters should be closed tight, and kept either in
fresh bay water or on a bed of ice. Never select shellfish
that are open!
article was from Chesapeake Bay Cooking which
specialised in shellfish and seafood recipes as well
as the famous Maryland Stuffed Ham recipes. (The web
site no longer exists)