Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Shot Heard Round The World

The first oyster shooter I ever did was at 11:06 in the morning. I have absolutely NEVER had an oyster for breakfast before, and I have certainly not had vodka before noon since college.

For a significant chunk of adulthood years, breakfast for me has arrived predictably lacquered with syrup, or topped with an appropriately pre-day egg; varied in its preparation, but consistent in its asymmetry.

In Los Angeles, my favorite food truck breakfast was an order of pancake tacos, and before that, in Chicago a platter of tart lingonberry flapjacks softened the blow of an arctic brunch expedition.

But I was standing in anticipation and a pair of boots a couple of weeks ago, at the Charleston Wine and Food Festival watching as a chipper stranger assembled an unlikely morning sip (slosh?) ((slurp?))

On behalf of the Charleston City Paper, into a shot glass went a reflective swell of oyster, freshly ejected from the St. Jude Farm shell in which it had spent its sheltered youth. Topped with a bit of Charleston Mix bloody mary mixer, and an inch of ice cold vodka, it was a tiny parfait of flavors. I took the shot in a swallow and a half (it’s been a while, remember), and experienced them all. Salinity, earthy ripe tomato essence, and the trail of sear left down your throat by a straight sip of vodka.

I tried for a long time after this to think of the perfect way to explain an oyster. Before I got there, I found a quote that made my struggles null and void.
“To eat an oyster is to kiss the ocean on the lips.”
So apparently someone named Leonard Beck beat me to it. But that shall not stop me from going back for kiss after kiss.

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