So you're out at a trendy restaurant with Mr. X (flavor of the week, hottie patottie, TD&H, love of your life, whoever the hell he is) sipping a flute of crisp champs and having a good time. You're totally on your A-game...until, he gets a little bit aggressive with the raw bar menu and out comes a silver platter of two-dozen exquisite oysters on a bed of freshly crushed ice.
Now, you may be an O.S.S.S. (Oyster Slurper Success Story) and this post may be totally irrelevant to you, but I'm pretty positive that there are some posh readers out there that haven't quite mastered this sneaky shellfish. Maybe you've played copycat at a cocktail party once or twice, simply tossing the oyster back into the wind. Or perhaps, you were so tipsy at your last girls' night out at the fancy fusion restaurant down in Chelsea that you couldn't differentiate between an oyster shooter and a shot.
Regardless, I'm here to help for the times when you can't fake it.
How to be a Shucking Success:
1. Relax. You're about to eat a morsel that resembles female genitalia. There is no "right way" to go about doing this.
2. Take the tiniest fork on the table (smaller than your goat cheese, beet, and arugula salad fork), and move around the oyster, detaching it if necessary from the shell.
3. Place your fork down on your plate...not upright in the bed of ice mimicking a King Neptune sculpture.
4. Then, place the shell to your pout, at whatever end lays flattest and is less rough, and let the oyster simply slide into your mouth.
5. No teeth, you biter, until it's fully in your mouth.
6. Chew it once or twice, or follow the ridiculous urban myth that you're supposed to swallow it whole...whatever floats your yacht.
7. Place the shell back on the tray, face down. This is simply as courtesy to your waiter, it signals that the oyster has been eaten.
8. Finally, take a sip or three of champagne, you did it!
9. Repeat as many times as necessary.
If you want to get fancy with your new skills, feel free to play with the little accompanying accoutrements; lemon, cocktail sauce, tabasco, a mignonette sauce, perhaps a garlic spread (although this one I would strongly suggest from veering away from on a date). I prefer a purist take and go au naturel or spritz a little fresh lemon juice if I'm feeling frisky. Feel free to knock yourself out though (literally) by making a suicide mix in your shell.