It's often slightly intimidating to try a new kind of food, but oysters can be particularly unnerving for those that have never sampled them before. However, they can also be absolutely delicious, so it's always worth giving them a shot. Here are a few things to keep in mind the first time that you do.
Start Small and Mild
If it's your first time, try ordering with that in mind. Most restaurants will let you order by size, so opt for a less intimidating 'small' rather than a 'large'. You may also be able to request different flavours, such as briny or buttery, and many establishments will be able to provide you with milder oysters to start with if you request them. If in doubt, start small and mild before building up to larger, more flavourful varieties.
Don't Be Afraid of Sauces
Many people will tell you to eat your first oyster 'naked' – without any condiments or garnishes. However, first-timers might be a little daunted by this approach, so feel free to use some condiments to get used to the flavour. You might start off with plenty of lemon juice or hot sauce, then reduce the amount as you get used to the new flavours. Don't worry, as nothing will completely block out the taste of the oyster itself.
You might never have tasted an oyster before, or even have visited a restaurant that serves them, but you'll almost certainly have seen someone enjoying one on television. Unfortunately, this often gives the wrong idea; it often looks like people are simply drinking down the contents of the shell without really chewing. Instead, you want to take a good two or three chews of the meat in order to really experience its flavour. Tilting the entire contents of the shell directly into your mouth is fine, but make sure you don't simply swallow straight away.
Know What to Expect
As with anything, knowing what to expect can make an experience a little less unnerving. When you bring an oyster up to your mouth, you should notice a fresh aroma that is reminiscent of the sea, so take the time to savour it. When you actually eat the oyster, you should notice a strong salty taste at first, followed by a creaminess that sometimes reminds people of butter. Some oysters may provide a sweet aftertaste. Of course, there are many different varieties available, so no two oysters will taste exactly the same.
For more information, contact Maisie's Seafood & Steakhouse or a similar location.