Oysters are marine shells with two unequally large, very thick shells (outside rough,wrinkled, flaky, with sharp edges - smooth on the inside). Oysters are found in all oceans,warm and tempered zones. In shallow coastal waters, oysters form colonies on rocky ground, so-called oyster beds. They feed on plankton.
Especially in France, before selling oysters are usually "cleared" – which means that they will spend several weeks or even months in so called «Claires» (clarifiers) – making them lose any muddy taste. Depending on the duration of theclarification they come up with other names in the trade:
Some oyster aficionados pay minute attention, while opening the oyster, to retaining every drop of juice in the shell – the juice is an essential part of the taste and the pleasure of slurping up the oyster. But others pour out the juice when they open the oyster because the oyster produces another spurt of liquid when it's given 10 or 15 minutes' time. While the former swear that the first round of juice is the tastiest, the latter are convinced that the second round of juice is more intense in flavour.
First Publication: 1-3-2006
Modifications: 4-3-2009, 15-4-2011, 8-10-2011, 26-12-2011