Tag Archive for: Oysters

Oysters are a well-known aphrodisiac

Casanova’s breakfast choice

Valentine’s Day is upon us!  Now is the time to plan a special meal that will tantalise your loved one. Oysters the well-known aphrodisiac, purportedly increasing the libido of all who eat them. In fact, Casanova is said to have started his day with 50 of these delicious bivalves! But did you know that plenty of other shellfish have the same sexy quality?

Shellfish the natural aphrodisiac!

A true aphrodisiac, increases sexual potency in men and desire in women.  With some cultures claiming that they also contribute to improved fertility. While all claims to unparalleled desire must be taken with a small pinch of salt, there is indeed truth to the idea that oysters and other shellfish are good for a boost.

Power of Zinc

Help comes in the form of zinc, in which oysters, mussels, and other molluscs are particularly high. Low levels of zinc can contribute to diminished libido, as can low levels of testosterone. Zinc triggers the release of testosterone in each sex, which will give both men and women that burst of energy they are looking for on February 14th!

Spoil your other half

Even without the chemical evidence, there’s something to be said for preparing a tasty meal and surprising your partner. Delicate flavours from the best sources in the world, can’t fail to earn you brownie points.  Cooking a treat of a meal for your lover is better than serving up all the outlandish aphrodisiacs in the world.

Valentine recipes

Half a dozen oysters, freshly shucked and served with a squeeze of lemon, or a dash of Tabasco if you like it hot; lobster with lashings of butter; a bottle of crisp white wine, all taken by candlelight and soft music playing in the background. Now that sounds like the ideal way to show your other half just how much they mean to you, and any nutritional benefits are just a happy plus-point.

Oysters are a well-known aphrodisiac

scottish oysters

Working class food

It seems odd to modern foodies that Scottish oysters were once a mainstay of the working classes. A luxury item around the world in the 21st century, they were cheap and plentiful up until the beginning of the 19th. Roman soldiers consumed them while building the Antonine Wall in the second century, and Edinburgh was once famous for its oyster cellars.

Oyster pie!

Eaten in steak and oyster pie, or in pubs to soak up the ale, it was not unusual to enjoy oysters by the handful. Oysters and Guinness were a famous pairing across the water, but Scots tended to match them to almost anything.

Street snack

Many cities boasted barrels of oysters on ice, a street snack that it is difficult to imagine today. There is an old rule about only eating oysters during months with ‘r’ in the name, and this is partly due to the weather and likelihood that the oyster had spoiled during those hot summer days out in the sun. There was also a need to allow oyster beds to respawn during this time. Needless to say, there is no need to abstain today.

Scottish quality and taste

Oysters are one of the types of shellfish that take on the flavour of their environment, and we are lucky that in Scotland our waters are clear and cool, making our oysters juicy and delicious. They are cultivated in mesh bags on metal trestles on the sea floor, and it can take up to three years for an oyster to reach its full potential. With some species, it may take as long as eight years! This may seem like a lot of work, but it does mean that oysters are of an excellent, consistent quality. Scottish oysters are an affordable luxury, ideal for a special meal at home. Additions of Tabasco, shallot vinaigrette, or simple lemon should not be skipped, as they make the oysters sing.


Oyster history

Specialist history

Scotland’s oyster history

All about oysters now

Historical information about oysters

Grilled oysters


Long-time advocates of Seafood will think of this next experiment (grilled oysters) as sacrilege but as I believe many people, like me, struggle with the notion of ‘shooting back’ raw oysters.  I wanted to try another method of preparation so at least I could try them.

On the Beach

From this trial in my kitchen I couldn’t get over the amazing smell from the grill as I cooked these, if I closed my eyes I could swear I was standing beside a smoky barbeque on the beach – not sheltered inside from the rain!

Top Tip

Practice is required when shucking (opening) oysters and you can’t be too careful. Despite watching several YouTube videos I still managed to cut my hand – not my finest moment! I recommend using a thick or folded towel to protect the hand holding the oyster and to give more grip. Also use the flat edge of a small knife, not the cutting edge.


  • Place your shucked oysters on a baking sheet or grill pan and be careful not to lose too much of their internal water and ‘juice’ in the process;
  • In a dish, prepare a cheese, mayo and smoked paprika mix. I used a mix of cheddar and mozzarella but you could use any melting cheese including parmesan. The paprika gives good flavour, colour and smell with the mayo used to lightly bind them all.
  • Place a teaspoon of mixture on top of each oyster and grill on a medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Some people say it’s easier to shuck oysters once they have been on the grill for a while and boiled up inside.  You may want to try that first, but warning, these shells get HOT even after a minute or so under the grill.

This recipe was developed by Foodie Nicola (Nikki) Reid, you can get her on Twitter here.  If you would like your recipe featured on our website get in touch.

oysters mussels

Choosing the right alcoholic beverage to go with your dish can be quite difficult if you are not much of a connoisseur.  Do you find yourself standing in the wine aisle, in the supermarket, staring blankly at the bottles? Then this simple guide is for you.  Whether you are holding a dinner party, cooking for your other half or you just fancy a nice meal and a great wine or beer to go with it, then just follow this guide.

Mussel Dishes

Dry White Wine with Moules Marinières

Moules marinières is usually made with a dry white wine such as Muscadet, so you might as well drink the same wine with them (source)

Rosé with Mussel Linguine in Tomato Sauce

Rosé is best with tomato-based or porky broths. These dishes won’t clash with a white wine, but they often work better with wines that have a little bit more body and some berry fruit (source)

Champagne with Thai Mussels

Winedin.com suggests either Champagne, White Bordeaux, Varricchio or American Gewürztraminer with spicy Thai mussels

Gin with Gin & Tonic Mussels

Claire Jessiman from Foodie Quine created this lovely dish for us and we think it is only right to appreciate a wonderful Scottish Gin as an accompanying drink with this gorgeous mussel dish

Oyster Dishes

Champagne with Raw Oysters

The bubbles in Champagne help accent the mineral qualities of oysters, making the whole combination taste fresh and reminiscent of the sea (source)

Oyster Stout with Creamy Crunchy Oysters

Fiona Beckett suggests an oyster stout (which doesn’t actually contain oysters) which is designed to not be bitter and is smooth and velvety, the perfect match for oysters.


If you have any suggestions for recipes or have a great drink and shellfish match, let us know by clicking here.

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!

health benefits of shellfish

Last month we told you all about the health benefits of mussels but what are the health benefits of all shellfish?

  • Extra energy
  • Glowing skin
  • Healthy heart

To name a few, it’s hard to beat shellfish.

Shellfish are full of nutrients, minerals, and those excellent omega-3s. They are quick, easy and (above all) a delicious way to improve your diet. It's recommended you have 2 portions of fish a week.

Scottish Shellfish – On your doorstep!

Luckily, in Scotland we have a wide array of choice, and you can be sure that whatever you choose the journey from sea to plate is as quick as can be. All you should do is look forward to including fresh, delicate shellfish in your new favourite recipes.

Mussels, oysters, crab and lobster are extremely low in fat and high in protein which is good news for anybody hoping to lose weight without forgoing flavour.  A portion of shellfish will leave you feeling full and satisfied, all without sacrificing the calories.

What can I eat with shellfish?

The options are endless, but the classics are always a winner:

  • Mussels in white wine
  • Lobster with a little lemon
  • Crab and avocado salad
  • Oysters with a touch of tabasco

What could be more mouth-watering, while still being so very good for you?

Additional Benefits  

If the above isn’t reason enough to tuck into some tasty Scottish shellfish, they also contain zinc, copper, magnesium and iron, all necessary minerals that will improve health overall.  Iron deficiencies can leave you feeling tired and weak, so making sure to take in enough is a great way to boost energy levels, naturally.

Shellfish for dinner?

With such versatile, tempting produce available on our doorstep, fresh and sweet and ready for your recipes, it is almost a crime to ignore Scottish shellfish! With all the above benefits it’s surely time to add more mussels, oysters, crab and lobster to your diet?