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Oy! (OYSTER TASTING)

September 25, 2012

Maybe I’m the wrong person for the job of ‘oyster critic’ because I treat all oysters equally. I don’t care if they are east or west, strong or mild, large or small. In Louisiana I was unfazed by oysters the size of an adult’s flip flop. I’ll never get mad at folks who put a ton of condiments on their oysters and though I keep the accessories light myself I am good for a touch of mignonette or a tiny dab of hot sauce and lemon to enhance the experience. In addition I tend to use adjectives that might not be included in regular oyster aficionado’s jargon and I also might have been drinking some. Which sets the tone for Friday night when I took myself out for a three course meal with three courses of (my own) pairing at good old Walter Foods where a lady bar-side will never be treated poorly.

In an attempt to not be on the phone the whole time, I decided to record my response to each oyster as I did a tasting of the seven varieties offered that evening. For this course I drank a Sazerac because I really like them and I thought each of those flavors would be great with oysters; a hint of anise, a little sweet, a little citrus, herbaceous bitters and (rye) whiskey which I think goes with everything. Warning: it was not my first drink of the night.

So please refer to the photo above starting at the first overturned oyster to left of the mignonette (about 7 o’clock) the long and thin Malpeque (PEI) described as fishy, middle and neat. Something geometric about the shape came through in the texture/flavor and it was straightforward, didn’t go outside the lines. Next in the circle was a Blue Point (LI) which I deemed tangy, juicy and firm. All good things for an oyster! Then came a whisper of a Beau Soleil so tiny and delicate it was barely like eating an oyster at all. I might have even drank it. Sitting in the 12 o’clock spot was a Rappahannock (VA), a nice juxtaposition with the Beau Soleil, it was large, chewy and satisfying. Mild in its brine but still had nice flavor. St. Simone was next, I think it was my first encounter with this kind of oyster. It was very light and on a scale of Oyster 1-10 it was a 5, sort of lingering in the center. A non-descript opening act before the last two awesome awesome awesome oysters. It made me really believe that the order was not only very purposeful but extremely.

Golden Mantle (BC) was tiny but fat. I think proper term is ‘deep cup’ which also means lots of liquor (the liquid in the shell) which is an important part oyster eating. It had a very nice grassy quality to it and something reminiscent of a mussel because I wrote ‘mussel’ next to the name. It had nice character and I would bring it to a party. The grand finale was the Black Point. I’m sad that I don’t know the origins of this one but no matter. It was the best! I asked the bartender if they did that on purpose but he might have been indulging me in his answer. This oyster was a nice size and picturesque (sic). The perfect oyster, smooth with a chew that was on point. Black Point.

That Sazerac was bigger than I thought!

Dear Walter,

Your oysters are so good. See you soon!

Love,

Ori

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