Not all oysters make pearls

The pungent smell of raw fish filled my nostrils and the shrill sound of seagulls filled the air. Not to be missed, the Essaouira port on the Atlantic coast of Morocco was an onslot to the senses once the fishing boats returned with the morning’s catch.

You can find any variety of salt water creatures for sale and for sampling: swordfish, sardines, crabs, prawns…and of course, oysters.

Irish author and poet, Jonathan Swift was credited with saying, “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.” And for sure, the look and texture of oyster meat is not for everyone but for those who dare to be bold.

Oysters are natures perfect snack-on-the-go: served best in their own brine straight from their own shell–no cooking or utensils required. The internet is full of advice on how to eat oysters like an expert, but what’s most important to remember is:

  • Be sure it’s fresh—no strong smell and packed on ice (or this will likely be your last experience)
  • Be sure the oyster meat has been carefully dislodged from it’s shell to avoid any spill of the brine (or embarrassing stains)
  • Be sure to chew—a couple of times will do

You’d have to shuck a lot of oysters to find a pearl, but for those with adventurous tastes, inside every shell a culinary treasure awaits.

Image: Lucinda Brooks Photography

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