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Sep 23, 2007 12:20 PM

Trying to get over my fear of oysters.

Okay, really not a fear, but believe me when I say I have never tried them raw or cooked because they just look slimy and all the usual aversions people claim. Although I do like steam mussels, shrimp and other shellfish. AT this juncture in life I am trying to get over long standing aversions (not all, since some have real purpose, such as I will never eat pig's feet or cow's tongue. What is the best way to approach this???

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    1. I loveeeeee oysters but I imagine they are not for everyone. You certainly shouldn't feel bad if you don't like them...for goodness sakes...I can't stand Okra are in good company. slimy food freaks me out...believe me! lol!

      My suggestion? Try a jar of fresh, SMALL oysters simmered in some white wine and good chicken stock and a pinch or two of kosher salt...then when they are 'just done', plate them up and add a shot or two of green tobasco...soooooooooooo yummy! :)

      5 Replies
      1. re: Cheffy

        i agree to start small....i'd choose fresh over jarred, though, if you can. kumamotos are my favorite teeny oysters, and the ones i started my kids on (two out of three loooove oyster slurping with mom...). while i love them unadorned, you might go with a dab of cocktail sauce or mignonette the first couple times.

          1. re: Cheffy

            Me too, with a fresh crisp glass of Sancerre, or a Quincy if they have it but that is unlikely as it is hard to find!

          2. re: chez cherie

            I agree to start small, as I think the texture might be more of an issue than fears about taste. I used to fear oysters too, until one day I just decided to try one: and I've been hooked ever since! (be warned,they can be a pricey addiction!).

            I'd say just go to somewhere like Hog Island in the Ferry Building, order a nice white wine to loosen the inhibitions....order a half dozen kumamotos, and just try one! (and invite an oyster lover along in case you cant finish the other five. More likely, you will order another dozen! :-)

            1. re: susancinsf

              Yeah, whatever you do, don't eat the jarred stuff. I like oysters and I wouldn't eat them. If you like steamed mussels, you might try oyster chowder first. If eating raw, go small, as suggested, go to a place known for good prep like Hog Island and ... drink first as suggested to lower inhibitions.

              I personally wouldn't go with fried oysters. While that is my preferred method of eating them, I only like that prep in New Orleans or on the East Coast. West Coast oysters are too big and bland and usually fried oysters in this area are ugly, squishy horrid things ... remember I like oysters. Usually the fried versions are from a jar anyway and pretty tasteless. I do love BBQ'd Pacific Coast oysters and beleive that is the purpose God intended them for ... still ... start with oyster chowder.

        1. I applaud your courage.

          I would highly recommend a bowl of oyster stew at Hog Island in the Ferry Building. They serve a classic version of that sublime dish. A glass of white wine and you're set. I can't imagine you not liking it. It's the purist way to enjoy a cooked oyster. Then if you like the soup, order up a half-dozen on the half-shell and give the raw stuff a go.

          1. i would say as long as they are cooked
            raw is totally senseless considering that you JUST swallow them no chewing they are not in your mouth long enough to know what you just had

            6 Replies
            1. re: foodperv

              I, and all my friends who love oysters, chew before swallowing. How else are you to taste their wonderful brinyness? Oysters and I have been friends for many years....and I'm still here.

              1. re: Gio

                I had the same reaction last year when I posted here:

                Seems that consuming oysters has strong cultural contexts as well as just plain different eating styles.

                1. re: E Eto

                  I just thought of something else. I've read somewhere that most foodbourne illness from raw seafood is attributed to raw oysters. And if most people just swallow them, it makes sense that they wouldn't know if they had a good or "bad" oyster until after it's ingested. I haven't had many, but it seems pretty easy to tell a bad oyster when you bite into it.

                  1. re: E Eto

                    there's a difference between a bad oyster(was a bacterial infestation( which you can tell from taste) and one that has a bacterial infestation (which you can't tell from the taste). This is why, IMO, it's important to eat cold water oysters if you're going to eat them raw(aside from the fact that they just taste better). even that won't be a surefire protection from problems, but they are a helluvalot safer than gulf oysters. anyway, the farther north you go the less likely you are to run into any of the harmful bacteria, and really likelier you are to get the true briny taste of the ocean and a sweet taste of oysterness. Welfleets are about the southernmost I like to eat raw. that's not to say I turn my nose up at a bushel of Afalachacolas, but I just don't eat them raw. they're wonderful in gumbo or bisque or fried in a po'boy or panee'd or in any of a number of terrific ways. Just not raw.

              2. re: foodperv

                I agree, if you are just going to swallow them, there is really no point in eating them. In fact, there is no point in eating anything that you are just going to swallow it (except maybe a vitamin or some advil). DEFINITELY chew them and enjoy the maturation of the process: salty at first and then sweet and delicious as it goes down your throat.

                1. re: foodperv

                  Not true... depends on the size. Some require a chew. Even small ones, I savour, I don't just swallow. There is nothing that compares with that beautiful flavour of ocean.

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