Valentine’s Day is a week away, and if you’re feeling at a loss, we have the perfect scheme for you… but you’ll need to start practicing now.
Though a multitude of dining options exist at your fingertips -- So much heart shaped food! Truly charming service at White Castle! Love-themed ice cream sundaes! -- what if you learned something ‘impossible” to permanently impress your loved one(s) on February 14 and beyond?
Yes, follow along as City Pages teaches you to shuck oysters, at home, in the heart of the Midwest. Careful! The food you’re presenting has a reputation for making eaters horny…
Step 1.Get yourself a solid oyster knife.
Oyster knives differ from others. They’ve got a sturdy handle meant to withstand the grip-and-twist motion inherent to the task, from which protrudes a short wide blade that’s dull, but pointy. Though the length of blade on oyster knives may vary according to the type of oyster opening (because oysters are as diverse as the seas from whence they come), you’ll probably only need one solid oyster knife unless you’re going pro.
A final note: A flathead screwdriver is not an effective substitute here. Investing in the proper tool for the job costs less than whatever last-minute reservation you were considering, and far less than a trip to the ER to remove a blunt-object from your hand. Scared? Get a glove!
Step 2.Watch this video.
No, we cannot describe, using words alone, where on the back hinge you’ll find that magic open sesame button, and the special combo of pressure and leverage necessary. Apologies.
Now watch that video seven more times.
Go to Coastal Seafoods (or wherever – we’re in prime oyster season, baby!) and secure your bounty. Get a few practice cracks in when no one’s looking, muttering under your breath potential excuses for why your apartment suddenly smells like a sea breeze.
Lightning fast champion shuckers – like the title-winners at New Orleans’ Superior Seafood and Oyster Bar – have been doing it for decades. You’re just aiming to make a serviceable plate’s worth, and it will get easier.
Step 4.Make a mignonette! Fetch and pop some bubbles! Both add an air of hoity-toitiness disproportionate to their difficulty.
Step 5. (optional)
Feeling more frustrated than ever, and oyster-less to boot? Lucky for you, Meritage, P.S. Steak, and Smack Shack exist! You started this journey early enough that you might snag a reservation yet…