A few days ago, I had the opportunity to try a new food. The food in question is something that I, having grown up on the coast, should have eaten long ago, but somehow I never had the opportunity or the motivation (or the cash) to do so.
On Friday evening last week, a friend and myself visited Rodney’s Oyster House where we ate, you guessed it, a crapload of oysters!
I unfortunately don’t have many pictures of the evening. It was one of those moments where you just want to enjoy everything and not bother with a camera. But my friend did snap a shot of one of our oyster trays:
In hindsight, a quick shot of our menu would have been a good idea as I can’t recall the details of the various oysters we consumed. Luckily though, I do recall the geographic locations. We tried oysters from 2 New Brunswick locations, 2 PEI locations, British Columbia, Massachusetts, and Japan.
I was quite excited about trying the New Brunswick oysters, memories of home and all that. The server described the various tastes for us before we went ahead and she said that our initial NB choice was going to be somewhat salty. That just made me even more anxious to taste them as anyone who knows me has heard me go on about missing the coast…the salty breezes, the salt water…there’s nothing like it.
Anyway, it did most definitely taste of the sea…but unfortunately it was too exact. The moment I tasted that oyster, I flashed to Parlee Beach in Shediac, NB, the coastline in PEI, the river near my parents home in NB….
I have beautiful memories of just hanging out on beaches out east, getting sand in everything (and everywhere!), walking in the shallows while avoiding jellyfish and razorfish, giggling as tiny krill (at least we always thought they were krill) tickled our toes, feeling the dryness of your skin after a full day of sun and salt, and heading home with hair in ringlets, its reaction to a day of sea salt.
This one oyster contained the years I spent wandering beaches within its little shell.
By eating it…I smelled the coast, I felt the sand beneath my feet, I tasted the sea salt on my tongue which was lovely…but odd. The first thought I had after the initial *sigh* was…”Wait a minute…my memories aren’t meant to be chewed.” There was something very odd about having all those lovely visuals attached to a morsel of food between my teeth. So, although that oyster was amazing in its own right, one was enough.
Overall, I have to say that I am now an oyster fan. Prior to trying them, I had heard all sorts of unflattering descriptions. I expected some slimyness due to the fact that they would be served raw, but I didn’t find that at all. To me, they had a great consistency and, if I hadn’t known better, without looking I might have thought they were cooked.
My friend and I agreed that our PEI choices were our favourite, one selection being from Rodney’s own oyster beds. The oysters from British Columbia had this amazing creaminess to them, that the server told us about as she brought them to the table. It was quite good, yet strange on the palate. The two we tried from New Brunswick were amazingly different in taste and sadly all I can remember of their location details is that one was from Baie des Chaleurs in northern NB. The Massachusetts oysters were lovely, and huge…the largest we tried. The Japanese oysters were the smallest and had a unique taste…which I find hard to describe.
Rodney’s serves their oysters with a round tray of sauces that get progressively hotter as you move around it, ending in tabasco and some type of hot pepper vodka sauce, the specific name of which I can’t recall. I tried the first few, adding a tiny bit of heat to my oysters and it was a delicious mix of flavours.
We also tried mussels, shrimp, smoked salmon and fried clams…but eating oysters was the theme of the evening.
Overall, I have to say I would go again in a heartbeat. The food was delicious and the oysters were an amazing and delicious surprise! I can’t believe it has taken me 32 years to try them! 😉
I found it amazing to taste the differences in the various bodies of water where these oysters grew.
I felt an appreciation for our oceans and of course, a longing for home.