Slurping Raw Oysters With Condiments

Slurping Raw Oysters

THE FINE ART OF SLURPING RAW OYSTERS

 

No kid or grown up kid, in Cajun bayou country doesn't know how to slurp oysters. Just for the record, we didn't learn this from drinking in bars. We learned it in the backyard, sitting at a newspaper draped picnic table, daring and double daring each other to eat a raw oyster.

Grandpere Navarre would egg us on, with his home version of the Acme World Oyster Eating championships. This age-old art, one that admittedly some of the more refined will disgusting -- is both a rite of passage, and a form of frugal family fun.

As numerous oyster festivals, slurp fests, and raw oyster eating contests across the country demonstrate -- eating raw oysters isn't limited to Louisiana or the Cajun culture. Traditionally, oyster slurping is the simple act of slurping them out of the shell into your mouth. However, some of the more timid folks, will pick the oyster out with a fork.

The tried and true Cajun method is thus:

 
  • 1. Examine the shell for the perfect place to plant your lips.
  • 2. Don't think too hard about what is inside of the oyster. You are only interested in the taste.
  • 3. Select your preferred condiments, some suggestions are: Lemon wedges, Tabasco or other hot sauce, piquante sauce, seafood cocktail sauce, chili sauce, or horseradish.
  • 4. Apply condiment (if any).
  • 5. Cradle the shell by grasping it with your thumb and first two fingers.
  • 6. Once ready, slurp up the oyster, in one single slurp, savoring the taste in your mouth.
  • 7. Drink the salt-watery juice.
  • 8. Chase the oyster with a swig of your favorite drink. (The kids in our family preferred lemonade and some of the adult men folk - beer, but only if Grand'Mere wasn't looking).

CAUTION:

 

Some people with seafood allergies, cancer, diabetes, hepatitis, immune deficiencies, liver disease, and other medical conditions should wholly keep away from eating raw oysters. If you have any of these conditions, you should check with your physician. Cooking oysters kills dangerous bacteria, so if you are in one of these high risk illness groups -- explore with your physician, the possibility of still enjoying oysters by thoroughly cooking them.

Junior Misses Slurping Oysters should convince you that anyone can do this!

Junior Misses Slurping Oysters

EATING RAW OYSTERS

The Fine Art of Not Looking Stupid - Same Lesson Just Stated Differently

If you've had a sheltered life and have never been privileged enough to be taught the fine art of slurping oysters, perhaps you are looking for a way to not look stupid the first time you partake in this activity.

There's a lot to be said for faking it until you make it, and the first time slurping of raw oysters is a good time to practice the fine art of not looking stupid. Here are some pointers:

  • Make sure the oyster meat is no longer attached to the shell
  • Do this with your fork or the tip of your knife, as if you are looking for a beautiful pearl
  • Place the oyster shell half between your thumb and index finger
  • Choose the lowest indention of the shell to lift to your lips
  • Tip shell
  • Slurp oyster and liquids into your mouth
  • Relax
  • Enjoy the salty flavor (and whatever other flavors you've chosen, such as Tabasco Sauce)
  • Chew it slightly
  • Swallow
  • Chase it with your favorite beverage

So what's the difference between this and the Cajun method? Not much, just that you chew the oyster slightly.

 

Oysters Rockefeller Cajun Style

Along the bayous you don't have to be rich, to live large and well, here is an adaptation of an old well known oyster recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 12 raw oysters, washed clean, on the half shell
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Baby spinach (preferably fresh from the garden) chopped very finely or run through food processor
  • 4 tablespoons fresh grated cheese (Parmesan, cheddar, asiago)
  • Fine bread crumbs
  • 2-4 tablespoons finely diced hot peppers of choice
  • 2-4 tablespoons Pernod Anise
  • Butter
  • Coarse Rock salt

Instructions:

  • Wash shells and oysters thoroughly
  • Mix sour cream, garlic, salt and paper
  • Place 1 teaspoon of this mixture in each oyster shell
  • Place 1 oyster on top of each
  • Mix Pernod Anise, 1/2 grated cheese, and chopped spinach
  • Fill balance of shells with mixture
  • Sprinkle lightly with bread crumbs, diced hot peppers and balance of grated cheese
  • Dot with butter
  • Fill bottom of broiler with rock salt
  • Broil until cheese is melted and serve hot.

 

Do you have a funny story to share about slurping raw oysters?

When my little brother was six and wanted to impress the "big boys" by eating raw oysters -- he used the distraction method.

Pretending to eat the oyster, without really swallowing it, he would throw a ball from under the table -- in hopes that everyone would watch his pup chase after it -- so he could slip it into a paper napkin.

At bedtime, my mother discovered a large amount of oysters, balled up in paper towels in his shorts.

Scoop, Shuck, Slurp

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