Despite the fact that oysters are used baked, fried, boiled, in fries, in batter or in broth, steamed or grilled, we will talk about using oysters fresh, i.e. raw. Since it is in this version that the delicacy raises many questions, mixed feelings, and is so appreciated in an aristocratic society. This mollusk has become the subject of praise in the works of many famous writers and poets. The French poet Leon-Paul Fargue described oysters as follows: "Eating an oyster is like kissing the sea on the lips." The Sea Kiss was the favorite dish of the famous Casanova, who ate 50 oysters for breakfast. It is in this product that they see the secret of his lovingness. Oysters are a well-known aphrodisiac.
Poetess Anna Akhmatova also dedicated the lines of her work to this delicacy: “The sea smelled fresh and pungently, Oysters in ice on a platter…”.
While in France, twenty-five-year-old Coco Chanel learned to eat oysters, then she believed that this was a victory over herself, and later she took pleasure and ranked oysters as one of her favorite dishes that she could not refuse.
Oyster meat contains fats, proteins and carbohydrates, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, sodium, iodine, fluorine, fatty acids, in particular "omega-3", B vitamins (B1, B2, B12), this not only contributes to the formation of testosterone, which awakens libido, but also creates a delicate taste for seafood.
In addition, American scientists have found that oyster unsaturated fatty acids contain ceramides - substances that block the growth of cancer cells, in particular breast cancer.
Despite the fact that mussels also have a high nutritional value, it is oysters that are consumed in their raw form. This is because oysters are a cleaner product. And those who come across for the first time may have a question: "What is the difference between oysters and mussels, and how to distinguish these bivalves?"
It is worth noting that it will not be difficult to distinguish these marine inhabitants, since their appearance is completely different.
Mussels are distinguished by a dark oval shell (pictured on the left) .Depending on the place of residence, the color of the shell may change. Most often, their shell is brown, purple or greenish, round in shape and sharp edges.
Oysters are usually larger than mussels (pictured on the right). Their shells are usually fairly light in color, slightly wavy at the edges and with a rough surface. Flat or slightly concave.
Also, these two molluscs differ significantly in taste. In addition, oysters have a muscle that holds the valves together, while mussels lack these muscles, making it much easier to open the mussel shell.
When choosing an oyster, the main thing is to pay attention to their freshness. The shells of the molluscs should be closed tightly to each other, without the slightest gap. If you see even a small gap between the valves, this indicates that the oyster is stale, and the use of such shellfish can lead to poisoning. Also, fresh oysters should have a solid color.
At the moment, the highest quality and most valuable are oysters collected from natural reservoirs in Norway. But on sale you can see oysters from many other countries: Japan, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, the USA, and many others.
There are about 50 types of oysters in nature. They are classified by size, weight, and habitat.
The size of flat oysters is indicated by zeros, the largest size corresponds to 0000. Concave mollusks have a different numbering. From No. 0 to No. 5, where No. 00 is the largest, and with an increase in the number, the size decreases.
By origin, two types of bivalve are distinguished: refined oysters - grown in artificially desalinated water and oysters of the full sea - those that, from birth, live only in the sea.
Oysters are also divided according to the density coefficient. It is understood as the ratio of the weight of the meat of 20 oysters of the same size to the weight of 20 oyster shells, multiplied by one hundred. According to this coefficient, the following types of oysters are distinguished: special, pus-unclair, special de clair, fin, fin de clair. Because of this, they are characterized by the highest fat content, as well as a slight salty aftertaste.
Unlike mussels, you cannot open a fresh oyster with your bare hands. You will also need a small hard steel knife and a special chainmail glove to open it. But in the absence of one, you can use a kitchen towel, you need to protect your hand in case the knife slips. The oyster is taken with the left hand, after putting on a glove or wrapping it with a towel (left-handers, respectively, take it in the right). The mollusk is placed in such a way that the flat or concave surface of the shell is on top. The knife is inserted into the junction of the flaps and turned like a lever until it clicks. After opening with a knife, it is necessary to cut off the muscle holding the leaflets. When opening the oysters do not turn over, otherwise the juice will leak out of the shell. If, after opening, shell fragments remain on the oyster, they must be removed with a knife or fork - this must be done, since if they get inside, these fragments can seriously damage the esophagus. The oyster is usually separated from its shell with a special three-pronged fork. Open shells are stacked on ice.
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