Friday, July 19, 2013

Oysters on a Half Bun....Holiday Sliders?

“What’s for supper?”

“You can warm up some that oyster stew,” my mother responded.

When my mother made oyster stew, she made enough of it to feed us for a week.

Without protest, I went to the kitchen and put the pot of left-over oyster stew on the stove to heat.  My siblings went for the peanut butter and made themselves a sandwich.  When the stew was slightly more than tepid I ladled some into a bowl for each of us.  

There were soda crackers, on the table. They were there only for appearances this time.  Nobody added them to the oyster stew.  

One of us maintained lookout while the others shared the disgusting mollusks with the dog.  Unlike us, the dog liked oysters.  But then, dogs like to eat rotten smelling and disgusting things.  The remaining broth went down the drain of the kitchen sink followed by a good rinsing of water.

Oysters were part of the holiday meal tradition at our house.  Guests would rave over my mother’s scalloped oysters.  For those of you blessed by ignorance of what scalloped oysters are, simply imagine the little slimy mollusks in a cake pan with soda crackers and milk.  Then they are baked in the oven much to the disgust of anyone with healthy olfactory senses.

Those who consume oysters, to my best assumption, must be totally lacking in the senses of smell and taste or, at least, they lack the gag and vomit reflex.  I have a vivid picture, to this day, of a cousin taking two full helpings of scalloped oysters.  Not being satiated, he tipped the pan of the remaining casserole to his face and shoveled the last of it into his mouth.  Disgusting!

I have never known of anyone outside of our family circle that relished oysters, in any form, for the holiday meal so I researched.  Oysters have been around for centuries as a food.  Somehow, in early America, they became tied to the Thanksgiving celebration.  There is no evidence that they were part of the “first Thanksgiving” but they caught on later in coastal New England.

Personally, I think it best to leave the oysters in the water.  They’re natural water filters by how they nourish themselves.  As oysters draw water over their gills, plankton is filtered out and digested.  

One oyster alone can filter five liters of water per hour.  That is the best tree-hugger argument that anyone could ever make for leaving the little buggers in the water where they belong.  Just imagine the perpetual cleanliness of our coastal waters if we just leave these mollusks to do what they do best.

If people are going eat them, oysters should be introduced to the fast-food industry.  I can picture an advertising billboard in my mind.  Instead of cows hanging over the billboard saying “eat more chicken” there would be chickens dancing along the top of the billboard saying “eat more oysters.”  Then the bottom of billboard could depict some kids yacking oysters back into a half-shell.  Chicken fast-food industry stocks would double in no time.

The burger industry could get a boost, too.  I’m thinking that oyster sliders on the half-bun as a new menu item would be a succes.  Better yet, put them on a soda cracker and call them scalloped oysters on the half-cracker.  Add a special algae sauce with secret ingredients and, with proper promotion, the curious would pour into the restaurants to try the little snacks. 

It wouldn’t take long for normal people to realize that they couldn’t stomach the oysters but the short term revenue increase would be tremendous. If it was done around the holidays it could be the black Friday of the fast-food industry.   Not only that, it would fit right into the holiday tradition of scalloped oysters as part of the holiday meal.

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