A shellfish endowed with a particularly intense flavour, oysters are considered by some to be an aphrodisiac food, especially when paired with a glass of champagne. How can they be enjoyed at their best in your own home? In other words, how to choose oysters and how to open oysters easily?
To anwer this question we have sought the assistance of the staff at the renowned fish shop Pescheria Da Claudio in Milan, who have explained how to open oysters easily with a knife, how to choose the freshest and how to store them.
HOW TO CHOOSE FRESH OYSTERS
It is easy to recognize signs of freshness: recently harvested specimens are heavier, being full of seawater. Avoid the lighter ones with more open shells.
HOW TO OPEN OYSTERS
1. Take a sharp knife or, better still, an oyster shucker; hold the shell with your left hand and, unless you are an expert like one of the staff members of the Pescheria da Claudio here below, it is advisable to wear an oven glove to protect your hand from being cut by the oyster shell.
2. At this point, poke the knife into the opening, turn it with a twisting motion and cut the hinge holding the oyster shell together. Then run the blade around the entire shell.
3. Then gently lever open the two halves of the shell, taking care not to hurt yourself and not to damage the oyster or lose its liquid.
4. Once you have opened the oyster, cut the muscle with which it is attached to the shell and serve it on the shell with its own water and a slice of lemon.
HOW TO STORE OYSTERS
It is advisable to buy oysters on the same day or very few days before eating them, but if you do need to store them, they can be kept in a refrigerator as long as one week.
Obviously, they must always be stored in the fridge, strictly unopened and placed in a basin, better still covered with a damp cloth or even wet newspaper pages: the presence of air and moisture is essential for an optimal storage.
Another way to keep oysters fresh is to place them in salty water: 100 g of salt to 1 litre of water.