Oysters are a remarkably healthy food, packed full of protein, vitamins and minerals that are hugely beneficial to your body. They're also said to be an aphrodisiac. The only problem with them is that many people are put off the idea of eating a raw mollusc, so they never get round to trying.
If you want to get the health benefits of oysters and maybe discover that you enjoy eating them after all, it's all about knowing how to go about eating them. Order a plate at your local seafood restaurant and follow these steps to eat them like a pro.
Make sure they're loose
Before you eat the oysters, you should make sure they're loose in their shells so they don't stick when you try to eat them. You may have been given a small fork for this purpose, but if not, use your table fork.
Gently move the oyster around in the shell, getting underneath to dislodge it if it's stuck at all. Be careful not to spill any of the juice.
Season them as you wish
You'll probably be given some condiments to add flavour to your oysters, the exact selection of which will vary from one restaurant to the next. The traditional ones are fresh lemon, vinegar, hot sauce and ground pepper.
Put whatever you want on your oyster, but go easy. You want to complement its flavour, not mask it. For your first one, try a squeeze of lemon and a little bit of pepper.
Down the hatch
The way to eat an oyster is to pick up the shell and simply tip its contents into your mouth, juice included. From there, you have a choice.
Whether or not to chew is a somewhat controversial matter, although many connoisseurs insist on chewing it a couple of times before swallowing, to get more flavour. It's up to you, though, and with your first oyster, do whatever feels right. Just don't chew too much, or you won't enjoy it.
Try one plain
Now you've eaten an oyster, try your next one without any condiments or seasoning. This will give you a true taste of what an oyster has to offer, and it shouldn't be missed. You can always experiment with different seasonings on the next one.
Once you've eaten a couple of oysters, you'll probably find yourself really enjoying them. People often find them very moreish, so order another platter and take the time to find out what you prefer to flavour them with and whether you like to chew them or not.