You either love oysters or you don’t, and if you love them as much as we do, then we had to do our internet research to find the best way to indulge in oysters.
If you douse your oyster in half a bowl of Tabasco before knocking it back in one, Simon Lamont will probably look at you with a mixture of sadness and disappointment.
The Dubliner is a seafood aficionado who runs master classes on how to properly eat and enjoy oysters, and it turns out most of us have probably been doing it wrong.
“You see people swallowing them in one, then saying a Hail Mary. But there’s so much more you can get out of them.”
The biggest faux-pas is not chewing the oyster: “It brings out the sweetness and brininess, and of course the umami. You’ll miss out on a lot of that if you’re swallowing them whole.”
Another mistake is pouring out the juice – or the liquor – from the oyster: “The liquor gives you a great indication of what’s to come.
So take a sip, process the taste.
“Then more liquor will emerge, that’s the second release. Take another sip.”
Diﬀerent oysters have diﬀerent flavours and textures, and at a tasting session at the Wright Brothers restaurant in Soho, Simon guides us from the Carlingford oyster (a sweet meaty oyster from the Irish coast), through to the Lindisfarne (a seaweed munching liLle guy with the fresh taste of cucumber), and on to the Gillardeau (The ‘Rolls-Royce’ of oysters with a rich buttery texture.)
Did you know that an oyster’s origin has a big eﬀect on the taste, and it seems quite obvious – river oysters feed from water that’s run oﬀ fields and farmland, giving it an earthy minerality.
Those that are found out at sea, meanwhile, have less of that minerality, with a sharper, brinier taste.
“People can enjoy them any way they want. I just want to give people a few pointers on how they can get the most flavour and enjoyment out of their oysters.”
And when it comes to toppings, keep it simple.
“A splash of vinegar, lemon juice or hot sauce can be great – but don’t overload them with it. And whatever you do, don’t mix them all together.”