Monday, 19 March 2012

IN PRAISE OF OYSTERS

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...

And––

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.

5 comments:

Suzanne said...

I don't remember the very first raw oyster I ever ate; but I do remember the first - and last -time I had cooked oysters. Never ever again! I was so sick afterwards and that was the day I first discovered I was pregnant!

Brian Sibley said...

I knew oysters were considered an aphrodisiac but that ridiculous! ;)

SharonM said...

I'm afraid you won't catch me eating shellfish - apart from the kashrut aspect, they so don't appeal to me.

So nice that you've still got the shell and that it can evoke such wonderful memories for you.

Eudora said...

But, the oysters are alive when you eat them...no?

Brian Sibley said...

Yes. There is a brief resume on the ethical position concerning the eating of live oysters on this Wikipedia link.