Shucking Oysters

When we wandered around Anping, we ran into the overpowering salty mineral scent of the sea. A quick look showed us that it was coming from these ladies who were shucking oysters, which I can’t think of without the rather well-quoted Ernest Hemingway from A Moveable Feast

I closed up the story in my notebook and put it in my inside pocket and I asked the waiter for a dozen portugaises and a half-carafe of the dry white wine they had there. After writing a story I was always empty and both sad and happy, as though I had made love, and I was sure this was a very good story although I would not know truly how good until I read it over the next day.

As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

–as quoted by Tom Anderson at This Sphere

I certainly wish I felt happy after writing a story and that anything I wrote was truly good. Maybe I should just eat oysters?

I had no idea oysters would be in huge barnacled clumps.

It certainly looks like work to slip the knife through the gap between the edges of the shell, but not end up cutting the oyster within. They were experts though, smoothly severing the two halves and slipping the flesh out.

Rinsing the oysters.

Also, is it just me, or is there a painting of oyster shuckers by someone famous like Picasso?


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Free Rice

June 2008
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