Photo: J_bary, Flickr
Said satirist Jonathan Swift, "He was a bold man that first ate an oyster. And while the appeal -- and aphrodisiac powers -- of this bivalve may be up for the debate, many consumers over time have fallen in love with the food itself. According to legend, the Greeks devoured oysters with wine, the Romans sent slaves all the way to the English channel to retrieve them, and notorious lover Casanova ate a dozen oysters at the start of each meal.
Today, oysters are still enjoyed in their natural state, served simply over ice and optionally garnished with Worcestershire sauce and fresh lemon. Although consumers were once advised to purchase oysters only in months with the letter "R" in them (avoiding the warmer months of May, June, July and August), refrigeration now makes them delectable year-round -- but they're best consumed as fresh as possible. The smaller the oyster (within its species), the more tender it promises to be.
Oysters can be consumed any number of additional ways -- poached, fried, baked, grilled, etc. -- but humorists Woody Allen and Roy Blount, Jr., agree: "I prefer my oysters fried; that way I know my oysters died." How do you take your bivalve? Tell us how they're best consumed in the comments!
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