BBS: Crystal Cavern
Date: 11-20-90 (23:30)             Number: 3116          CRYSTAL CAVERN
From: Jeff Murphy                  Refer#: NONE
  To: Sue Coleman                   Recvd: NO
Subj: oyster story                   Conf: (13) PNW.Chatter

* Originally posted in the Cooking echo to Shelley Rodgers

 > >....  I could enjoy the texture - ever notice how texture is
 > >everything?  did I ever tell you my raw oyster story?
 > No, please do, good sir (eyelashes fluttering, looking quite
 > demure).  I'm sure it is a socially relevant tale!

How can I resist a demure damsel?  The flesh is willing, but the
spirit is still hanging in there.  But I digress.

Ah yes, the Raw Oyster.  Where to begin, where to begin?

I was at a restaurant with my parents.  It was a nice
restaurant. My dad wasn't paying for it.  Therefore, we ended up
with a plate of raw oysters.

How abysmally bad could it be, I said to myself?  Look at those
other people sucking down those things - and smiling like
they're enjoying it.  [This takes me to my story about the
summer job in the brick plant, involving Mexicans and jalapenos,
but I'm sure this is off-topic and besides, you can probably
figure that one out.]

So, without further ado, I indulged.

For those of you who have never had a piece of chilled, uncooked
flesh in your mouth, you can only imagine the look of sublime
surprise which passed over my features.  Wha, istine i awfu , I
thought.  But, being the brave soul that I am, and realizing
that no one else had yet to spit out an oyster, let alone
catapult it across the room like I had in mind.  The lime and
worchestire sauce helped, but only for a time.  It was the awful
moment of truth.  What happened next was not only an error in
food etiquette, but scarred me for life.

I bit the oyster.

A cold oyster, raw, laying there on your tongue, oozing it
uncooked juices slowly into your mouth, is nothing compared to
the jetting amount of icy liquid that seemed to engulf me.  A
frantic look came into my eye.  My father, ever sensitive to my
needs, looked over at me and began to guffaw loudly.  With more
courage than good sense I swallowed the [words fail me - clean
ones, anyway] thing and several others' glasses of water.  I had
taken into my body something not meant for man, something
uncooked.  I knew then I was going to die.

"You're not supposed to *bite* them!', my dad said, wiping his
eyes as the choking fit subsided.  I have pondered this
statement for years, as one would an oriental mantra.  I have
concluded that raw food is a vanity, sought by those seeking
status above the common man.  I'm old; I have lived many years.
I have known men and women both high and low.  Panhandlers I
have known; they see me and run to greet me.  Yet not one of
them has asked, 'Hey buddy,  you got a cold piece of raw flesh
on you?'  None have said, 'Yeah, one that when you bite down it
squirts really foul juice [I think of it as oyster pee] in your
mouth, so you grab the nearest piece of cloth and swab your
tongue for three days?' No one has ever asked me for that.  I am
not surprised.

I have never had sushi.  Oysters are edible, when surrounded by
sufficient batter and grease; I prefer clams.  Smoked.  In a
little can from Korea.  Puget Sound and its pitted seashore
holds little joy for me.  Raw pork has never much appealed, nor
rare chicken.

The value of a food that one is not intended to taste eludes me.
Like tofu, I wonder what it is for.  Is it really only extender?
At those prices?  Could not one get used to noodles instead, and
spend the rest on dessert?  And yet the quest for oyster beds
goes on.  'You're not supposed to bite them.'  And we still call
them food.

I don't wonder that years from now intravenous feedings of
various nutrients will be called food, and like teeth are today
tongues will be sealed by dentists to fill in all those
pointless little crevices we call taste buds. The stomachs of
men and women will be excised as useless; some Scotsman will
come up with a new recipe for haggis about the same time.

Ah for the good old days, when pound cake weighed at least that,
and raw meat and vegetables were something seen only by wives
and hired cooks, women innured to such hideous sights from long
days of child rearing.  When insurance salesmen came to your
door, and all was right with the world.

___ TosScan 1.00
 * Origin: Mother Murphy's Point of View  Portland, OR (1:105/20.7)

Back to Main