Sunday, September 09, 2007

Muscadet Meets European Flats or They Took My Oysters

I went down to our local seafood supplier on the weekend to pick up some oysters to take to a backyard party. For the first time in months, they had European Flats in stock. European flats are my favorites (Susan’s as well), and there were only a few left. Threw a dozen or so in a bag pronto before anyone else could grab them and made a call to Susan to say there was a few left – hopefully to save my butt for not sharing. A quick trip to my favorite wine shop to pick up a bottle of Chateau Chasseloir Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur Liethe perfect match for just about every type of oyster but especially good with European flats. So far so good.

This being a potluck, the hostess and host were wondering what I’d brought. Needless to say, since they’d never had these before, they got the first couple I shucked. Naturally, they also had to try the wine I’d brought with the oysters. There was some discussion about what a wonderful match the oysters and wine made.

Another couple were listening – two more oysters vanished. Now you have to appreciate European flats are like potato chips – you can’t just have one. It simply doesn’t work. So now there are four people eating oysters and drinking wine. Next thing I know, there are six gathered around the table where I’m shucking. I look down and there a two oysters left. That’s it, two left for me out of a dozen. The bottle of wine has one glass left – maybe. Total elapsed time – less than fifteen minutes.

Okay, one of the things I was counting on is that there usually aren’t a lot of people who eat raw oysters, so I’d probably have most of them for myself. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Went back the next day to get some more but there were none left. Nothing, nada, zip. Susan will probably think this is justice served.

Susan’s Note:

Yup. I’m trying to hide the snigger – but not too hard. What more need I say?

The Details You Need To Know:

The Wine: Chateau Chasseloir Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur Lie. Lots of lemon and lemon peel with a tangy, mineral finish. Perfect raw oyster wine. Available in Vancouver at Marquis Wine Cellar for $19.95.

The Oysters: European Flats (ostera edulis) also known as Belons or French Plates. Slight copper color, sweet with a slight copper finish, with just a touch of brine. Somewhat rare in North America. When they’re available, we usually find them at The Lobsterman on Granville Island.

For a great reference book on everything to do with oysters check out The Hog Island Oyster Lover’s Cookbook published by Ten Speed Press that we reviewed in June. Available in Vancouver at Barbara Jo’s Books to Cooks or through

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