Jonathan Swift said: "He was a bold man that first eat an oyster."
I think it may also be the case that it is a bold man who eats his first oyster!
Recently dug up in the Great Move: the shell of the very first oyster I ever ate – aged 42!
David and I were in Whitstable, premier British home of the oyster – and actor Peter Cushing!
In the Royal Native Oyster Stores Restaurant David ordered half a dozen oysters and, for the first time in my life, I plucked up the courage to try one...
It was simply one of the most wonderful sensations I've ever enjoyed: I was like eating the seaside! There's no other way to describe it.
I immediately ordered another half-dozen! I can see them now: on a plate of ice and seaweed. It was an unforgettable experience and I kept that first shell...
As a shell it is the wrong shape for putting up to the ear to hear the sea, but just holding it in my hand – with its craggy back and pearlescent soul – I can perfectly imagine the sound of sea on shingle, the cry of wheeling gulls and the pungent aroma of ozone.