I love oysters. With a few drops of Tobasco sauce, a grind of black pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Preferably washed down with an ice cold Sauvignon Blanc. They are easily my first choice of starter for any meal out.
And I only eat them raw.
But last week I had them for breakfast so no wine this time. They were icy cold, properly shucked and beautifully creamy. It was a buffet breakfast so I went back for three more. I regret now that I held back from helping myself to another three 😉
I have been known to eat 2 dozen oysters in one sitting. A long time ago.
There was a restaurant called Jen’s Oyster Bar in Joburg. Every day I drove past their ad for ‘Eat as much oysters as you like – R60’. I did say it was a long time ago. And the grammatical error irked me every time! So one lazy Sunday afternoon, my husband and I decided to have a late lunch at Jen’s but the kitchen was about to close. However they were prepared to serve oysters and a bottle of wine. Three hours later, the waiter bid us goodbye and said that they would call us!
My husband had polished off 5 dozen oysters! Between us, we had paid R120 for 7 dozen oysters. The story sounds so unlikely these days, that I now add in our defense that they were small oysters and that they literally slid down our throats in one go. But to be perfectly honest, they were mediums and they were really juicy.
The Namibia west coast oysters are my favorites. They are harvested by hand and are fat and creamy. The most common oysters in South Africa are from Knysna, east of Cape Town. Every June crowds flock there for the Knysna Oyster Festival, it’s very popular. But these are cultivated oysters and do not have the same flavor profile as those grown in the wild. I’ve had oysters from other places too. The wild Natal and Cape Rock oysters from Kwazulu-Natal are harvested by hand and also taste really good although I think that they taste better when harvested during our winter months. One of the restaurants in Gauteng served oysters from France once and although they were teeny, they were delicious. I’ve had oysters from Maine in the US but they were small and not memorable. And I’ve also had a lot of oysters in Australia. They were a dollar a piece at the many fresh fish delis along the Gold Coast so we ate some almost every day while on holiday there.
With the price of oysters now more than R25 each, I eat oysters only very occasionally and preferably if they are from the west coast. So last week’s oysters were a real treat!
Until next time ☕️