Oyster Education – A Newbie’s Guide to the Half Shell
Barron Point Oysters on the half shell @ Flying Fish,
South Lake Union.
The shellfish known as the oyster is loathed or loved by many. It’s hard to feel so-so about a food with such a unique texture and appearance. Intimidated by the oyster? This delicious sea creature could merely be misunderstood. Had a taste, but crave to know more? There are many ways to prepare & eat an oyster, but we’ll start with the basics of oyster on the half shell.
Shucking. It’s an art. Don’t just take our word for it, ask the competitors from the Oyster-shuck-aganza thrown by Local 360 in Belltown, last month. Oyster shucking involves slipping a shucking knife between the shell, prying it open, and separating the oyster muscle from the top and bottom shell. Often times the oyster is flipped for a more appealing look.
It takes practice to become efficient at removing shell fragments and getting a clean cut from the shell. If you want to learn how to shuck an oyster for yourself, our friends at Taylor Shellfish will show you how.
Stay Fresh. Oysters should be either eaten alive or cooked alive. A fresh oyster feels heavy and full in the hand. Your Pacific oysters at Flying Fish on the half shell are freshly shucked and served on ice to retain the flavor / texture as if they jumped straight from the Hood Canal (If oysters could jump).
Oyster Etiquette. Go ahead and slurp, it’s ok. In fact, it is encouraged. The oyster ‘liquor’ in the shell enhances the unique complexity of briny flavors. Take the half shell to your lips, sip the liquor, and tip the oyster meat into your mouth. Pair the oyster meat with some of our side sauces, lemon, or au natural as the purist would have it.
Enjoy Socially. Oysters are meant to be shared. Eating them is an experience. Eat as many as you would like at our annual Seattle Oyster Frenzy or bring your favorite colleagues post work to our Oyster Happy Hour (It would be wrong of you not to share with your friends). But if you do come alone, make new friends over a plenty of oysters that go easy on the wallet. Oysters are just 50 cents from 4pm to 6:30pm at the bar counter.