Oyster Odyssey

Last night, I went out for a lovely dinner with my aunt, uncle, cousins and sister.  Uncle Brian and Aunt Vickie took us to this cute little place in Cookeville for a Cajun inspired meal.

We took a poll and decided to order gator bites and oysters for appetizers.

I must have misread the menu because I somehow thought that the gator bites were fried shrimp with a kick or “bite.”  After popping a few of them into my mouth, I was a little bit concerned that the shrimp was extremely overcooked because it was chewy.  It was at about this time that my sister disclosed to me that the gator bites were in fact alligator, hence the name “gator bites.”

Oh.  Right.

I’m still not sure how I feel about those.

Then it was time to tackle an oyster.

Most everyone at the table enjoys oysters and happily slurped them down or made cracker chariots to transport the oysters to their mouths.

Now, I am a texture person.   As a designer, I love texture.  As an eater, I am very particular about texture.  Sometimes bananas and I get along and sometimes we don’t.  Sometimes yogurt is just the thing and other times I can’t even look at it.  So, what I am trying to say is that slimy food and I have a very complicated history.

Judging by the look on my face, my family quickly discovered that I had never tried an oyster and thus immediately began pushing me to try one.   I have had mussels before, which are of course considerably smaller, but never something this large and slimy.

I decided I need to watch my cousin and sister and their techniques for dressing and eating an oyster.  After observing this a few times, I decided to go for it.   I dumped the oyster onto a cracker, practically drowned it in cocktail sauce and plopped on some horseradish.

By this point, I had an audience and was a little bit bashful about stuffing this loaded cracker into my mouth.   I stalled a little bit and then held up my other hand to obstruct their view and to prevent me from cracking up and accidently inhaling this oyster concoction.

Clearly my hand was doing a lot of good.

As I was chewing the enormous bite I had just put in my mouth, I realized my dear sister had documented this episode on her phone camera.

Wonderful.  I just knew that these would be deeply attractive photos, which is why I have shared them.

So, you probably want to know my verdict on oysters….

Well, they don’t seem to have much flavor.  While I understand that I put an absurd amount of cocktail sauce on mine, I guess I just don’t understand the appeal of eating something large, slimy and relatively flavorless.

While I’m glad I tried it, I did not go back for seconds.

At least it was entertaining.

Y’all be careful,


5 thoughts on “Oyster Odyssey

  1. Hi there. Like many people, I used to eat oysters with lots of sauce. Then we had an epiphany — we started eating at a new restaurant in Toronto called Starfish, whose owner has been (several times) the world oyster-shucking champion. (Really. It’ all about speed — how fast you can cleanly and properly open the oysters.) Anyway, Patrick advised my wife and me how to eat oysters properly, either plain or with a few drops of lemon. He let us taste the many different kinds at his oyster bar, and we discussed the “finish” — the lingering taste left in your mouth — just as you would discuss the “finish” of a wine. Now that we live in France, home of some of the world’s best oysters, we are happy as, well, clams. So don’t be too put off…

  2. Thanks for making me laugh this morning! This was great, and brought back memories of my own family, specifically my dad, making us ALL try oysters. I felt the same way you did: okay, I tried it, but I don’t think I’ll do it again. If it’s the sauce and cracker I’m supposed to like, well, I’ll just take the cracker, thank you. And the raw part… I’m making a face just thinking of it!

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