August 5, 2013

National Oyster Day

“All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography." - Fellini

It's National Oyster Day!

Oysters are a bivalve mollusk that has long been eaten (we're talking prehistoric days) for it's nutrients, flavor, and supposed aphrodisiac properties, or harvested for their creation of pearls. Oysters are considered protandry hermaphrodites; they start off their lives as males and many eventually switch to being females (I don't blame them, the grass is greener - or in this case, the water is bluer - on this side of life).

And now you're all the wiser, foodies.

If eating straight oysters isn't appealing, consider celebrating today with oyster mushrooms (like I did) or oyster crackers! Feeling a little more daring than that? Some breweries make oyster stouts. Abita makes "Imperial Louisiana Oyster Stout"; they use freshly shucked Louisiana oysters, the salt of which, they say, gives their beer a more intense aroma and mouth feel. The Porterhouse Brewing Co. in Dublin, Ireland makes an "Oyster Stout" that uses shucked oysters during the conditioning process. 21st Amendment Brewery makes "Marooned on Hog Island", a stout that uses Hog Island Sweetwater oyster shells for a "silky, salty finish"; and, Flying Dog makes "Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout" created from local Rappahannock River oysters. And a part of the proceeds of each beer benefits the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP), a nonprofit that restores oysters back into the Chesapeake Bay. (Please note that several of those are not vegetarian friendly.)

Now that's one way to celebrate today, eh?

(Oyster mushroom and goat cheese frittata? Yes, please!)

Happy National Oyster Day!