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Feb 9, 2001 02:30 PM

Who will deliver good raw shucked oysters in Park Slope??

  • j

I need to find someone to deliver a dozen good shucked oysters to someone in Park Slope.
Does anyone know the best people for this?

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  1. g
    George Lynch

    Funny you should ask that. I had a request today from someone in England about that very thing.

    And I'll respond to you the same as I did to her: (a) I'm not sure if anyone delivers fresh shucked oysters, and (b) I'm not sure it's a very good idea. To put it another way, I don't think I would eat a fresh shucked oyster that was delivered to my residence. I'd want to see that sucker shucked in front of me. And I'd want to be sure that whoever did the shucking was clean and reputable.

    Good luck, though.

    7 Replies
    1. re: George Lynch
      Steven Stern

      I have to agree.

      And, after my last do-it-yourself oyster attempts (New Year's Eve), I also have an almost painfully deep understanding of the value of a professionally-trained shucker.

      Wish I had a solid suggestion for you, Jason. One idea, though: I'm guessing your query might possibly have something to do with the Valentine's Day. Buy yourself an oyster knife and a big, thick rubber glove. Get a half dozen oysters every day and--in the privacy of your own home--practice, practice, practice. Deliver them yourself. You have five days: get going.

      If, at the end of that time, the whole idea of oysters seems more trouble than it's worth, you can always order out for pizza.

      1. re: Steven Stern

        I concur--both with the "don't accept delivered oysters" and the big rubber glove. I still sport a nice 1" scar on my hand from proving I could shuck oysters (" I can to this, don't need help, thanks!") one Thanksgiving (first one with my soon to ,be in-laws.) Three hours later, a trip to emergency, novacaine,7 stitches and a stint on the couch, (but the turkey wasn't wrecked, despite my grandstanding), my now father-in-law offered me the oyster -opened with a hammer in my absence. But, since we picked them up and delivered and knew their freshness-- still delicious!

        1. re: berkleybabe
          David Edelstein

          Let's just say it again, shall we? A RUBBER GLOVE. AN OYSTER KNIFE. When you're talking about shucking a mere dozen oysters, there is no reason not to go with the freshest oysters possible--that is, live ones in their shells. A rubber glove on the hand that holds 'em virtually guarantees you won't be injured. Jam that knife in the hinged backside and sliiiiice 'em open. Put em'on ice and you're golden. I suggest Muscadet with oysters (the minerally qualities in the wine works gorgeously with the brininess), but a dry champagne is OK. (I don't share the mysterious liking for oysters and stout or porter.)

          David Edelstein
          Brownstone Brooklyn

          1. re: David Edelstein

            Julia Child recommends using a can opener (the kind that puntures cans, not the kind that cuts around the circumference of the lid) to open oysters. From "The Way to Cook":

            "This is the easiest opener. Turn [the opener] upside down, insert the pointed end into the gap at the hinge, press down on the handle while holding the oyster firmly with your other hand--the oyster pops open."

            1. re: Erica

              Julia's method works well and it is easy, but you must pick the oysters individually yourself - many oysters do not have the requisite space at the back of the hinge nor a sturdy enough lip there to permit use of this method (Julia herself admits to this in her show with J. Pepin on shellfish). Actually it isn't very hard to lern how to open oysters with an oyster knife and the pride you will experience in your newfound skills as a crustaceocidal maniac may lead you to start ordering them by the bushel. Fried Oysters! Oysters Rockefeller! Oysters Shots! Oysters at every meal! MWAHAHAHahahaha!

              .um, sorry about that. Just reliving my first days of triumph after learning to open the tasty lil' things. Anywho, I take a page out of the book of the esteemed messrs. Alonso and Eric of Blue Ribbon Brasserie and eschew the glove. Instead I take a kitchen towel folded so that the final product is about thrice the size of an oyster. Place the folded towel on the counter. Nestle the oyster with the larger shell half down on one end of the towel and with the black hinge portion pointing outward. Now fold the other half of the towel over the top of the oyster and hold the lil' fellow down firmly. Insert oyster knife slightly to the left or right of the black hinge area (whichever seems easiest) and wiggle the handle side to side, whilst applying a little bit of pressure. Note: do NOT try to force the knife into the oyster, you will only damage the oyster and possibly yourself. When the tip of the blade seems to slip in a little bit, give the handle of the knife a firm twist and if all goes well the back of the shell should pop open. Insert knife from the now open back, staying toward the top of the shell and cut the aductor muscle (located toward the wide end of the oyster) the top should come off easily at this point. Slip your knife under the oyster near the wide part and cut the aductor muscle's connection to the bottom. Bask in the wonder and approbation of your friends and loved ones.
              Note: If the oyster is not filled with liquid, briny and clean smelling or looks otherwise suspect, discard it immediately. It often helps to buy more than you expect to need, there are always a few deaders.

              1. re: Roger Lee

                Great tutorial!! Something I discovered totally by accident (too embarrassed to describe incident) is that if fresh oysters in the shell should by chance end up in the freezer for 15-30 minutes the little buggers relax and are opened (by your method) very easily. Try it sometime. pat

                1. re: pat hammond

                  Ah ha! Never thought of it but that makes complete sense. Another shellfish tip that actually goes for all seafood is that you should ice it at all times. Some fanatics suggest that you bring one of those nifty insulated bags (usually used for the more prosaic duty of preserving the questionable potability of six-packs of cheap american beer) with a bed of ice in it along on your seafood shopping excursions. Keeping yer shellfish (and this goes double for littleneck clams) well iced - but not submerged in ice melt helps with both freshness and shuckability.

    2. You might call Fish Tales on Court Street. Their stuff is very good (I've never bought oysters there, but the mussels were quite good...). I don't know if they deliver but I do know that the owner and staff are just some of the nicest guys around. Another thought: Why not call in an order and pick it up? I've ordered large quantities of the aforementioned mussels and some stuff they don't normally carry (Lake Superior White Fish) and they've always had stuff ready when I need it...

      1. When (and if) Blue Ribbon opens on Fifth Avenue and First Street, your dilemma will be solved!