Monday, March 30, 2009
Well, I'm in love. And even more so than before.
This past week has involved more delicious experience with La Rochelle huitres, wonderful oysters from the sea.
I returned from California last Tuesday and by Wednesday I found myself on the beach, in my water-proof wellies, wading into the low tide. Buckets in hand, we went mucking (I'm sure there's a more technical term for that?) for oysters. After seeing people doing this all year long, some of the La Rochelle kids decided to give it a whirl while I was out of town, and then let me tag-along last week. The process is easy: make sure you're wearing appropriate foot-gear, that the tide is low, and that the oyster is still living when you put it in the bucket (read: the shell is completely shut). If they're already dead, you can end up pretty sick.
And afternoon of shucking followed the mucking, the result being some delicious fried oyster sandwiches. Truth be told, I much prefer oysters raw - and I think the majority of the rochelais would agree (to the chagrin of some assistants)- and loved standing ankle deep in the low tide, slurping an oyster straight from the sea.
Today I went to an oyster 'farm' near Ile Oleron with some Swedish students who are in Rochefort on an exchange. While there is a major different between more controlled, 'cultivated' oysters, nothing really beats the thrill of collecting the les huitres sauvage.