Saturday, April 08, 2006

Chew or Swallow?

There's a recent article in The New Yorker where the author asks all sorts of decorated oyster authorities whether they like to chew the mollusks or just let them slide down the throat.

Me, I chew. A little. Then I swallow.

Hey, if I'm paying three bucks apiece, I'm going to spend as much time with those little creatures as I can before it's all just a memory. A delicate chew or two prolongs the moment, deepens the intimacy. Why not? Conventional wisdom, according to the article, often dictates that chewing is a no-no, but it turns out that taking a few bites isn't as rare as the author had once thought.

This was a wonderful oyster sunomono that Margy and I fleetingly enjoyed. The oysters were small and low in number, but they were perfect in both texture and flavor, their brininess enhanced by a bit of citrusy ponzu sauce.

Sinking my teeth into two of them -- you can't share an oyster, and Margy, sensing my rapture, was kind enough to offer me the last one -- was my way of saying hello and goodbye all at once.

Shumi, Somerville, NJ

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