oysters for the poor

It’s hard to believe that oysters used to be considered a peasants’ food. Barrels of ice and freshly shucked oysters were to be found on London street corners, and pubs served them up with pints as a snack.

Cheap and sustainable

The reason for the popularity of these tasty bivalves was the low-price point, a result of the ease in which they grow naturally. As filter feeders, they help to keep the water around them clear and sweet.  Meaning that even the farmed variety are sustainable and ecologically sound.

The Oyster, An aphrodisiac?

As popularity increased, so did the price.  This meant that often they were a treat enjoyed on special occasions. The reputation of oysters as an aphrodisiac grew, and they began to be associated with Valentine’s Day.

While there are no special qualities that are specifically good for this sort of celebration, oysters contain plenty of zinc.  Zinc is an energy booster that creates a feel-good mood, thus the connection between oysters and amore!

Other health benefits

Oysters (along with most other shellfish) are also high in iron, selenium, calcium, and vitamins including A, C, and B12.  Which means that including a couple in your weekly diet is one of the easiest possible ways to make sure you get your recommended dosage of health boosting minerals and vitamins.

Oyster serving suggestions

Low in calories and fat but high in protein, oysters should not continue to be relegated to the starter menu.  A dozen just-shucked oysters sprinkled with tabasco, mignonette, or simple lemon is a sure-fire way to get the taste buds tingling and satisfy hearty appetites. For those that prefer their molluscs warm, serve them grilled with butter and cream for a fulfilling option.

The delicate flavour of the sea comes through no matter what your favourite method happens to be. What’s more, oysters can be paired with a deliciously crisp white wine or a sturdy stout. Easy to prepare, a friend to all accompaniments, and healthy beyond belief.

Oysters really are the wonder-food that has been right under our noses all this time!