Oysters--an expert's guide to a summer treat
Many locals are hesitant in buying seafood due to the devastation in the Gulf. The fact is most of the seafood sold in the Twin Cities comes from other places. Still, oysters are getting a particularly bad rap. But not to fear, you can spend the summer eating oysters to your heart's content.
Oysters are not only delicious, some consider them an aphrodisiac. While many cooks are too intimidated to prepare them at home, fresh oysters are not as scary as they seem. Having a good relationship with your fishmonger (fishmonger ...such a great title) is the key. Don't be afraid to ask questions. You'll want to select oysters that are tightly shut, or that close when you tap them. With oysters being procured from many areas, there is no longer a specific season to buy them.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the many types of oysters available locally, Hot Dish spoke to Doug Bigwood from Coastal Seafoods, who showed us 10 varieties and shared a little about the taste of each.
The key to shucking is a good pair of work gloves, and the right knife. The rest is about finding the oyster's hinge, working your knife in, and the most satisfying thing in the world--getting that beauty to pop open. Again, your fishmonger can show you how to shuck, and can help you select the right knife.
Oysters are best served simply, with just lemon, horseradish, or hot sauce. Or you can try a wonderful, traditional, and simple mignonette sauce.
1. Alpine Bay--Vancouver, Canada: Medium sized, briny at first taste, but with a clean finish.