There is no day on the calendar better suited to aphrodisiac foods than Valentine’s Day. And one of the most notorious foods rumored to help people get in the mood is fresh, raw oysters. The legendary 18th century lover Casanova wrote in his memoir that he ate fifty oysters every day for breakfast, and dozens more at lunch and dinner.
Now, there’s science backing up the hunch. Researchers recently found that the shellfish are rich in rare amino acids known to trigger an increase in sex hormones. So join in the fun with your special someone! Even if you’re a skeptic of the aphrodisiac theory, you’ve got to admit there is something sensual about the fresh, salty taste and delicious, silky texture of raw oysters.
If you’re serving oysters for the first time, take a look at the tips below. And while you’re in the mood, we’re in the market for a little love ourselves. “Like” Pucci Foods on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Puccifoods/ or follow us at @puccifoods for the latest, greatest specials and news.
Raw oyster guide for beginners
- When you get home, store your oysters in the fridge with their flat side facing up. Don’t store them on ice, unless there is a barrier between that ice and the oysters. Fresh water can kill oysters, just as suffocating them in an airtight container will kill them. The fridge is cool enough. To keep them moist, wet a kitchen towel and drape it on top.
- Cleaning oysters is easy. Simply run them under cold tap water. If you see any gunk on the shell, use a scrub brush. Clean the oysters right before you are ready to shuck and serve them. After cleaning, that’s when you get them on ice. The key is to keep these guys cool all the way up to the point they enter your mouth.
- Time to shuck. First, you’ll need a protective glove, and an oyster knife. No, you cannot use your trusty paring knife. An oyster knife needs to be very strong and sturdy. And if it slips, that’s what the glove is for. Start by holding the oyster with the “hinge” facing you, cup down. Wedge the tip of the oyster knife into the hinge. Now push down and twist that knife slightly, to create a gap. Next, slide the knife under the flat, top part of the shell, separating it from the meat. Take off the top shell. Last, run the knife under the oyster to cut it free from that bottom shell. Don’t remove the flesh, though. Keep it in that wonderful serving bowl nature has created.
- Serve your beautiful oysters on the half shell on a bed of crushed ice, fanned around your favorite sauces and garnishes.