This past weekend Camille and I took Wilder with a few guests on a little Maine adventure. Before arriving at our destination, the Damariscotta river, we weaved our Subaru down windy roads, stopping at country markets, springs, and antique barns along the way.
The cold coastal waters of Maine are home to many beloved species of fish and shellfish. Lobster, likely the most bountiful and enjoyed crustacean fills the bellies of thousands of salty locals and intrigued tourists every year, but it is the glorious bivalve that gets my tummy grumbling for more.
For several thousands of years, the Damariscotta river has been the host of some of the best oysters in the world. Flying Point, Glidden Point, and Pemaquid are just a few known oysters that are beautiful and unique in both shell size and taste. To taste an oyster is to taste the terroir. Sweet, salty, briny flavors treat the palate to the goodness of the ocean.
Foods For Sexy Time?
Oysters have always been a favored aphrodisiac and for good reasons. These ocean derived mollusks are one of the best sources for zinc, a crucial mineral which helps to raise testosterone - a key sexual hormone. Remember our old buddy Casanova? He was said to consume 50 oysters each and every morning for breakfast. Now that's fuel!
Oysters For Health + Development
Oysters are mineral rich, high in b vitamins and a valuable source for Omega-3 fatty acids, which are responsible for proper brain function, as well as overall growth and development. Omega-3's also actively promote cardiovascular health and may reduce the chances of heart disease with regular consumption.
Most of the oysters we eat are farm raised, grown on ropes, or special frames which are "seeded" with young oysters and allowed to grow in the shallow waters along select shorelines nationwide. Farm raised Oysters are different from farm raised fish in that they spend their lives in the ocean and only consume the foods of their natural environment, no grains or anything like that. Oysters can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day, which plays an important role in cleaning up their habitat, keeping the oceans clean. Check out this video of oysters in action:
Use the Shells
Mineral rich oyster shells can be broken down and used to supplement calcium for your chickens or scattered throughout garden beds for increasing the health of your soil. Nothing needs to go to waste with oysters!
How to Eat an Oyster
There are numerous ways to enjoy oysters, but the 2 most common are likely raw and deep fried. The later, although crispy, salty, and delicious, is likely not the most optimal way to consume these slippery shellfish. Because there are so many oysters in Maine to choose from, I personally tend to use less condiments then previous years eating oysters. This comes from now wanting to eat, taste, and enjoy the unique flavors of each oyster I consume without overpowering the delicateness of oysters with spicy or overly acidic ingredients.
Condiments for Oysters
- a squeeze of lemon
- prepared horseradish (grate freshly into unpasteurized apple cider vinegar)
- hot sauce
- mignonette (minced shallot, sherry wine vinegar, black pepper, and a drop of honey)
- oyster ices (click here)
This Oyster here is picture with a dash of our grated horseradish in apple cider vinegar and some lacto-fermented hot sauce.