Oysters are for lovers. Lovers are for oysters.
Looking to make your Valentine's Day meal something special? I recommend cozying up to the nearest oyster bar and sharing the primal experience of slurping down some gorgeous bi-valves. Oysters are known to get the libido going and, on a night in which you definitely want to set the mood, indulging in a dozen can set your date off on the right foot. Here are some recommendations for getting it right.
You're a beginner. So where to start when there are so many varieties? Start small. I recommend smaller oysters with pleasant, not too intrusive flavors. Beau Soleil, Fancy Sweet, Kumamoto, Kusshi, and Barren Island oysters are the perfect place to begin your journey to ecstasy. These oysters are flavorful, but not intrusive, and they offer delicious sweet, subtle notes in a small package.
You're a sauce hog. No matter the oyster, you love your toppings, be it horseradish, cocktail sauce, or tabasco, you feel the need to pile it on. Chicoteagues, War Shore, 38 Degree, Kegotank, and Beavertail oysters are perfect vehicles for your garnishes. They are known to be big and meaty and able to stand up to your experimental tastes.
You're a pro. Well, if you're a seasoned vet, you probably already have a favorite oyster. Nonetheless, here are some flavor bomb varieties I can recommend that you may not have yet visited. For you salt kings out there, try Old Black Salt (our signature oysters), Fisher Island, Salt Pond, Pemaquid, and Block Island. If you're into that West Coast funk and prefer some algal notes with your melon rind, try Chelsea Gem, Hama Hama, Skookum and Akadia. These are George Clinton certified to funk it up. If you are a hard core mineral head there's no other option like a Maine-raised Belon. These can come off like sucking on a penny, but with a simple squeeze of lemon you can open the door to unimagined flavor complexities. Just be sure to warn your date.
Eating and enjoying oysters is a trip, a journey into the exotic nakedness of natural flavor. When you share oysters with someone, especially with someone you love, it's like a playful dance. There's trepidation, you never know what to expect because each oyster is it's own signature, and there's trust. Trust in the communal event taking place between the lips that whatever comes next, you and your partner are on this primitive road together. It's a beautiful bond and it's easy to get caught up in the moment. But isn't that what Valentine's Day is all about?