The Oyster - "Where How and When...
Eustace Clare Grenville Murray
THE OYSTER; WHERE, HOW, AND WHEN TO FIND, BREED, COOK, AND EAT IT! OF the Millions who live to eat and eat to live in this wide world of ours, how few are there who do not, at proper times and seasons, enjoy a good oyster. It may not be an ungrateful task, therefore, if I endeavour to inform them what species of animal the little succulent shell-fish is, that affords to man so much gastronomical enjoyment—how born and bred and nurtured; when, and where; and, lastly, how best it may be eaten, whether in its living and natural state, or having undergone the ordeal of cooking by the skill of a superior artist. Now let us proceed to open the oyster. The Oyster! The mere writing of the word creates sensations of succulence—gastronomical pleasures, nutritive food, easy digestion, palatable indulgence—then go sleep in peace! Lobster salads, beef and veal, truffles and chestnuts, all good in their way, are, nevertheless, attended with evil consequences to the human frame. But oysters—ye pleasant companions of the midnight hours, or the mid-day feast; is there a man, woman or child in all Europe—ay, or in Asia, Africa, or America—who does not owe you a debt of gratitude which they repay to the full by the enjoyment of your society tete-a-tete? You are eaten raw and alive, cooked and scolloped, in sauce and without sauce. True, true, oh oyster! Thou art the best beloved of the loved!