Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mark Kurlansky -- YOU ROCK!

As I mentioned in my last post, I broke, I gave into my oyster cravings this evening.

After my Krav workout, I decided to head to the local seafood joint, Hyde Street Seafood.


I was alone this evening. M was out for the evening. Its my birthday tommorow -- after a rough year, I think I deserve to splurge a little on some gluttony.

I initially just ordered an Anchor Steam and a half dozen of the Chef Creek (British Columbia), Steamboat (Washington State), and another breed of oyster that began with Q and U (QuXXXXXXXX). The Chef Creek and and Steamboat were wonderful, briny, but also creamy and rich. The third one that I can't name was briny, but not creamy.

I chatted briefly with one of the waitstaff. He described his own personal bias towards the smaller oysters, briny being preferable to creamy. Unfortunately he added the same twist that many wine snobs like to use -- "people who really know oysters...."

To each their own.

I ordered another Anchor Steam [Anchor goes great with seafood]. Then ordered a dozen of the Chef's Creek and Steamboat. I was in creamy oyster heaven.

I chatted some more with the barmaid/waitress and another waiter there. Had a wonderful discussion about the word of oyster eating, cited the Kurlansky book. We discussed the odd thing of Kumamoto oysters becoming an Oregon & Washington State product, and how the temperature of the water affects the flavor of the oyster. I also mentioned Kurlansky's shtick about how NY City used to be the center of the universe for oysters. The waiter I talked to wasn't surprised -- he had many wonderful East Coast oysters.

Discussion drifted onto the crab world -- the East Coast blue crab versus the West Coast dungeness. Definitely strong preferences for either crab. The waiter, reflecting terroir cited his love of the dungeness. The barmaid/waitress cited the sweet and tender delicacy of the East Coast blue. I love them both.

I had the best of both worlds that night. Great oysters, and great conversation with people who are passionate about their food.

Mark Kurlansky, Thank you!

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