Mark ter Maat The Beauty of Oysters

Edwinno is happy to see that the simple things in life can still be enjoyed and have always loved the taste and succulent simple emotion of beauty of devouring oysters in the raw of many kind. We invite you to look into this beauty of taste and pleasure with Mr. Mark ter Maat who is holding an unique journey of Oysters of the South East of France harvested between Calais and the Pyrenées.

oesterMark ter Maat of Oestertijd and Wouter Thomas meet regularly in their town Groningen in the Netherlands. Mark works for an IT company and Wouter is a student there. Mark is a true lover of "La Cuisine" and is working on new concepts for bringing Oysters in the right attention, opening up a restaurant and mobile coffee call "Markbucks", his love for food and life is an example for us all.

Loving the good food and the feeling of "La Vie est Belle", especially when good food is acquired, prepared and served with wines that match the food in total "simplicity". So they have embarked on the idea to lauch an Oyster Tasting Cruise and will organize such on board of the motor yacht "Our World" in Groningen, what beter place to have the right ambiance.

This Oyster happening is taking place on March 6h, 2011, for more details do check or link to  Join the Oyster Journey . We recommend highly you partake and as we understand just a few spots are still available. We wish Mark a great time and of course we will join him on this unique journey.



Health benefits of eating oysters

Oysters, especially 'wild', are excellent sources of several minerals, including iron, zinc and selenium, which are often low in the modern diet. They are also an excellent source of Vitamin B12. Oysters are considered the healthiest when eaten raw on the half shell.

Molluscs - Oyster Allergy Symptoms

An allergy to oysters, as opposed to other kinds of shellfish such as crustaceans, is not as common. The oyster allergy symptoms are very similar to other food allergies with the symptoms usually mild such as oral allergy syndrome. This means conditions ranging from an itching of the lips, throat and larynx to swelling of the lips, tongue, throat and palate. It can become more dangerous with a more commonly reported symptom being urticaria, or hives. However anaphylactic shock can occur after consumption of oysters.

Oysters are bivalve molluscs and so if a person is allergic to other bivalves such as clams, mussels and scallops then there is a good chance that they should avoid other molluscs too. This goes for snails, limpets, cuttlefish, octopus and squid too.

The allergic symptoms after eating oysters usually begin to occur within 90 minutes after eating them, although it’s not unusual that the symptoms present themselves later.

When talking about an oyster allergy we are usually talking about the ingestion of oysters, however symptoms have also been reported after handling them or even after inhaling the steam while cooking

There has been some research that indicates that if your parents or someone in your family suffers from shellfish allergy, the chances are high that you may be as well. To avoid inadvertently eating shellfish and suffering either a mild or severe allergic reaction, it is advisable to go to the doctor to get tested.

It appears that women are more likely to have a shellfish allergy than men which could indicate a difference in the immune systems between the sexes. This is merely speculation with no definitive research having been performed yet.


Preparation and storage

Oysters can be eaten raw, smoked, boiled, baked, fried, roasted, stewed, canned, pickled, steamed, broiled or used in a variety of drinks. Preparation widely varies. It can be as simple as opening the shell and eating the contents, including juice. Butter and salt are often added.

In the case of oysters Rockefeller, preparation can be very elaborate. They are sometimes served on edible seaweed, such as brown algae.

Unlike most shellfish, oysters can have a fairly long shelf-life: up to two weeks; however, their (decreasingly pleasant) taste reflects their age. Oysters should be refrigerated out of water, not frozen and in 100% humidity. Oysters stored in water under refrigeration will open, consume available oxygen and die. Care should be taken when consuming oysters.

Purists insist on eating them raw, with no dressing save perhapslemon juice, vinegar (most commonly shallot vinegar), or cocktail sauce. Upscale restaurants pair raw oysters with a home-made Mignonette sauce, which consists primarily of fresh chopped shallot, mixed peppercorn, dry white wine and lemon juice or sherry vinegar. Like fine wine, raw oysters have complex flavors that vary greatly among varieties and regions: sweet, salty, earthy, or even melon. The texture is soft and fleshy, but crisp on the palate.

North American varieties include: Kumamoto and Yaquina Bay from Washington State, Malpeque from Prince Edward Island, Canada, Blue Point from Long Island, New York, and Cape May oysters from New Jersey. Salinity, mineral, and nutrient variations in the water that nurtures them influence their flavor profile.

Some History

Jonathan Swift is quoted as having said, "He was a bold man that first ate an oyster", but evidence of oyster consumption goes back into prehistory, evidenced by oyster Middens found worldwide. Oysters were an important food source in all coastal areas where they could be found, and oyster fisheries were an important industry where they were plentiful. Overfishing and pressure from diseases and pollution have sharply reduced supplies, but they remain a popular treat celebrated in oyster festivals in many cities and towns.

In the early 19th century, oysters were cheap and mainly eaten by the working class. Throughout the 19th century, oyster beds in New York harbor became the largest source of oysters worldwide. On any day in the late 19th century, six million oysters could be found on barges tied up along the city’s waterfront. Oysters were naturally quite popular in New York City, and helped initiate the city’s restaurant trade. New York’s oystermen became skilled cultivators of their beds, which provided employment for hundreds of workers and nutritious food for thousands. Eventually, rising demand exhausted many of the beds. To increase production, they introduced foreign species, which brought disease, when combined with effluent and increasing sedimentation from erosion, which destroyed most of the beds by the early 20th century. Oysters’ popularity has put an ever-increasing demands on wild oyster stocks. This scarcity increased prices, converting them from their original role as working class food to their current status as an expensive delicacy.


Found in Tuscaloosa, Alabama ~ Wintzell's ~ The Best Oyster House in Town



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