Oysters might not be everyone’s cup of “sea,” but if you happen to be among those who are bewitched by the beautiful bivalve, you know how delicious it can be to celebrate these gems from the ocean.
Whether your allegiance is to west coast or east coast, when it comes to celebrating oysters, there are plenty of ways to enjoy them. And there’s no better day than on “World Oyster Day,” which is observed on August 5.
Purists will attest there’s nothing quite like slurping back oysters raw, straight from the shell. If you aren’t at one of Vancouver’s many fantastic oyster bars or seafood-centric restaurants, where the pros do the shucking, you might want to try your hand at shucking yourself. (Yep, we said it!)
To get some insight on Shucking 101, we turned to Issac Martin del Campo, General Manager of the recently-opened Fanny Bay Oyster Bar. Del Campo happens to hold the title and trophy for the 2nd Annual Shuck it Forward oyster-shucking competition, too, so this is some serious expertise.
Here are four steps for shucking an oyster:
Don’t hold the oyster from the top, instead grab it from the sides.
When you put the shucking knife tip into the hinge, give it a little left to right wiggle with a bit of pressure.
Scrape the inside top of the shell with the knife tip to pull the abductor muscle away.
To loosen the oyster from the bottom shell, don’t cut it–give it a push.
If you want to observe “World Oyster Day” in Vancouver, you can head to any of the city’s best oyster bars, or, if you’re on a budget (or are really, really hungry) hit up any of these nine places offering buck-a-shuck oyster deals.
Additionally, at Fanny Bay, on August 5, Executive Chef Chris Andraza will be serving up three specials: Oysters Three Ways (Casino, Fried, and Rockefeller; $12); Angels on Horseback (bacon-wrapped oysters on crostini; $12); and Oyster Fritter (jalapeño corn fritter, white cheddar beer sauce; $9).
Andraza says because of the time of year, “you’re going to get a creamier, soft kind of an oyster.” Baking firms them up, making them ideally suited for the classic preparations he’s cooking up for August 5. But of course, you can always just sit back and slurp their oysters plain, which is Andraza’s favourite way to eat them.