Matt Armendarez recently posted about his love of sardines on his incredible food blog Matt Bites. In that post, titled An Open Letter, Matt’s outlook on the situation is satirical, light and downright hilarious but as he put it, he just couldn’t keep his love of tinned fish a secret any longer.
I have a confession of my own to make. While I agree with Matt that tinned fish are a tasty snack, in fact one I would happily sit back in a public venue and enjoy right along with him, I have a much deeper love for another tinned seafood product, namely smoked oysters.
Wow! You should have seen the look on your face!
Right now a whole slew of people are thinking thoughts along the lines of “Wait a minute! I thought this was the food snob guy! You mean he actually eats those little eraser looking things? …From a CAN?”
Yes, I do. I absolutely adore the smokey-and-ever-so-slightly-briny flavor of a good smoked oyster, especially paired with just the tiniest bit of good sea salt. They work perfectly as both a quick snack on a cracker right out of the tin, but serve equally well as a fairly upscale appetizer if they are presented properly. The flavors are complex and the texture is surreal.
Yup, I just waxed poetic about a little mollusk in a tin can, packed in cottonseed or olive oil (I prefer the latter.)
Please don’t hate me for this!
I developed my taste for these little gems of flavor at my fathers side when I was about 6 I think. This, along with a love of smoked salmon and all things spicy is my fathers legacy to me. He loved rich flavors, while my mother preferred very simple and subtle foods for the most part. (Though she did love sardines and scrambled eggs. A flavor combination I never could fall in love with.)
On top of just being quite yummy, Oysters are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, zinc and are a great source of protein. Eating raw or undercooked oysters can cause serious illness for some people. For more information about these possible issues, please read up on the subject. Even Gulf oysters can cause these problems, so where you get them is not the issue!
As far as I’m concerned they are one of the best snacks around, especially if you’re looking at keeping your blood pressure down like I am. If you think you might want to give these a go, (and you should, you really, really should) try this little presentation. I bet you’ll find that you can actually enjoy a good smoked oyster.
- 1 tin good quality smoked oysters. (Geisha or Crown Prince for my money, avoid extremely cheap oysters!)
- A few tablespoons high quality extra virgin olive oil
- A few pinches of sea salt
- 1 scallion (greens only), sliced fine
Remove oysters from tin and drain well. Place each oyster in an individual Asian style soup spoon or other appropriately sized container, or place on a long tray such as an olive dish. Drizzle oysters with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with a bit of course sea salt and top with two scallion slices.
Or… You can just stick ‘em on some crackers for a quick easy snack.