Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: How to eat raw oysters

I have always had a thing for oysters. The mysterious mollusk, hiding in an almost impregnable shell, safe beneath the waves. 

But once stolen away, and the shell opened, a thing of wonder appears. It is almost without shape, but it glistens, shines and beckons. 

"He was a bold man who first ate an oyster," Jonathan Swift famously pondered. 

MF K Fisher wrote a about them in “Consider the Oyster,” and many more people have made notable comments, so the mystery and appeal of this simple creature is almost universal. 

You know Mississippi is a major grower of oysters and there are more than a dozen oyster reefs off Pass Christian, right?

So what is one to do when confronted with a raw oyster?


1 dozen raw oysters, fresh from the salty water

1 tray filled with ice

1 small wedge of lemon

Tinniest drop of hot sauce

Never, never cover up the sublime flavor of a fat, salty oyster with lots of anything. Just add a small drop of lemon juice and a fleck or two of hot sauce. Pick up the shell holding the oyster, bring it to your lips and give one, small, slow suck. And it is done and you have mastered a delicacy you'll never forget.