'Top Chef Canada' is back and we're watching it; it was also our dinner time, and I decided to try something new (to me): oysters.
It's possible that as a child I had oyster stew or chowder or similar, perhaps just oysters served at a function or gathering, and I found them disgusting. I have a vague memory of this but not a precise one. I know that I wanted to like oysters. We would go to the coast on vacation and I loved clams. I loved clam strips, I loved clam chowder, and I loved buckets of freshly steamed clams ... a little butter for dipping. Popping open shells.
And weren't oysters just like clams?
Obviously not. At least I also liked mussels. I was for a while fixated on oysters because a cookbook for kids that I had contained an oyster chowder recipe, and as we never had oysters I could never make it for my family. But I thought about it. Quite a bit. And now in 2013 I wonder whether that cookbook still resides boxed away in my father's garage.
In any case, I've always had to settle for oyster crackers.
 Smoked Oysters -- yummy ways to eat? ( chowhound.chow.com/topic
 Smoked Oysters In A Can: Good Stuff or Nasty? ( www.thegearpage.net/boar
 Smoked Oysters: More Than Just a Topping for Crackers ( www.domenicacooks.com/20
 Smoked Oysters (Serious Eats) ( www.seriouseats.com/talk
 6 Surprising Facts about Oysters ( www.rodale.com/benefits-
The other day while shopping I picked up several tins of sardines, but also another can of kipper snacks and, on a lark, a can of smoked oysters. Due to that vague childhood experience and memory I've avoided oysters for decades, not that the opportunity to eat them has come up on anything resembling a requent basis. I told myself, perhaps if I go to the (right) coast, I'll get some fresh oysters.
It was time for 'Top Chef Canada'. I had no crackers. But I had:
- a can of smoked oysters
- a nicely sliced pickle
- some pretzels and a spicy Russian mustard
- some Tabasco
- a freshly poured glass of beer
Take the can from the cardboard box. Pull back the lid. Spear with a fork and consume. Sprinkle with Tabasco, spear with a fork, and consume. Dip in mustard and consume. And soon the can is empty, though the cats would love to check it out.
At first the echoes of hot sauce discourage them. I remove the peeled back lid, place the tin on the kitchen floor, and when I come back later it has been licked clean.
Poll: Smoked oysters, love 'em or hate 'em?
[ ] Love them
[ ] Hate them
[ ] Indifferent
[ ] Have never had them