AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO Zibby Munson flipping over the oyster cages tethered to her dock on Menantic Creek.
No one is indifferent to oysters.
For some, like author and master chef James Beard, the meat of the oyster is “one of the supreme delights that nature has bestowed.”
French author Michel de Montaigne compared them to violets and his countryman, poet Leon-Paul Fargue, rhapsodized that eating an oyster is “like kissing the sea on the lips.”
And then there are those who can’t prevent a shudder of revulsion when spying a pale mass of slimy stuff sitting in a shell. Slurp or chew that? Please.
Count Islanders Peter and Zibby Munson among the lovers. Last week, on the porch of their home above Menantic Creek, Mr. Munson noted that he had to go through a period of conversion to the oyster cult. (more…)
Panko-breaded oysters with avocado wasabi sauce. (Credit: John Ross)
Our shells clacked on the plates. My tongue was a filling estuary, My palate hung with starlight: As I tasted the salty Pleiades Orion dipped his foot into the water. Alive and violated They lay on their beds of ice: Bivalves: the split bulb And philandering sigh of ocean. Millions of them ripped and shucked and scattered. We had driven to that coast Through flowers and limestone And there we were, toasting friendship, Laying down a perfect memory In the cool of thatch and crockery.
Excerpt from ‘Oysters’ by Seamus Heaney
We don’t know a lot about that first harvest celebration in 1621. We know that the Pilgrims shared their first harvest bounty with the Wampanoag Indians and Governor William Bradford was present at the feast. We know they ate deer and wildfowl, probably including wild turkeys. But we are certain that they were shown by the Native Americans how to eat clams, mussels, eel and, especially, oysters. (more…)