The French eat oysters with black bread squeezed with chilled white wine. The Dutch prefer light beer, while the Russians enjoy the taste of mollusks by pouring lemon juice on them. How to eat oysters correctly, what can they give to our health and why are these mollusks not suitable for long feasts?
How it all began
Famous english writer Charles Dickens wrote: “Poverty and oysters always go hand in hand.” Today it is hard to believe, because oysters are not just a desirable gourmet product, but rather expensive. In Russia, the most budget option will cost 200 rubles apiece, and in a restaurant you will have to pay about $ 20 for one clam. But it was not always so!
Until the nineteenth century, mollusks were considered food for the poor. So, for ancient people, it was an ordinary product, which did not allow them to die of hunger. In ancient Greece and Rome, they were eaten by representatives of all segments of the population. The popularity of oysters was so great that the enterprising merchant and hydraulic engineer Sergiy Orata began to grow mollusks in artificial conditions.
In the Middle Ages, the interest in clams faded away – people just got fed up with this simple food. The tradition of eating oysters was revived only under Louis XIV.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, oysters began to disappear from sight. They were caught in such record quantities that the population simply did not have time to recover. So oysters from a cheap product went into the category of delicacy.
Did you know?
Until the XIX century, a dozen oysters cost less than a loaf of bread!
What are the most delicious oysters?
Oysters can be wild, that is, grown in natural conditions, and living on special farms – in artificial reservoirs. It is the environment of origin that affects the taste of the product.
Gourmets especially appreciate the “freedom-loving” mollusks, they differ not only in shape, but also in taste. But statistics show that today there are 9 mollusks living on the farm per oyster grown in the wild.
Growing artificially mollusks, one can influence their taste characteristics. Oysters are very susceptible to the salt content of water, temperature, the presence of different types of algae. Salinity of water determines the rate of growth of a population, its taste.
The most delicious oysters live in water with a salt content of 20-30%, if the salt concentration rises to 33-35%, the meat of the mollusk becomes harder, and if it drops below 12%, the oysters die.
Four of the world’s leading suppliers of oysters include the United States, Japan, France and South Korea. The main part of the fishery falls on deep oysters, a smaller proportion is occupied by flat mollusks. The average size of a shell of mollusks is 8-12 centimeters, but there are giant oysters, the “house” of which can reach 40 cm.
Rule p or when you can have a delicacy
The famous “rule P”, to which all gourmands had listened until recently, determined in which months it was possible and in which it was impossible to eat oysters. It was invented in France in the eighteenth century – in order to protect the population from total annihilation. So, oysters were allowed to eat only in those months in whose name the letter “P” is present. That is, from May to August, the time of reproduction of mollusks, their catch was banned.
Today this rule is considered obsolete. At least because the majority of mollusks are grown in artificial conditions, and manufacturers have long learned to shift the period of their reproduction. In addition, there are types of oysters (triploid), which can be eaten at any time of the year.
On a note!
Taking into account the rule “P” when buying oysters requires not only concern for the environment, but also the taste of the product. Formed in mollusks of milk in the summer months “spoils” the taste of the dish, giving it a slightly bitter taste.
Oysters and health: myths and facts
Favorite of all women, adventurer and writer, famous for his love affairs, – Giacomo Casanova I ate 50 oysters each day. He considered them an aphrodisiac, which can affect the potency and improve the quality of intimate life. Like it or not – scientists can not come to a common opinion, but the fact that these mollusks contain zinc very useful for the male genital sphere – a fact! In 100 grams of the product its content is 165% of the daily requirement.
Oyster meat is considered a dietary product. It contains a little fat, but a rich content of protein and vitamins – A, E, D and B, as well as minerals – iron, copper, iodine, calcium and phosphorus.
Oysters have a beneficial effect on health hearts. Due to the high concentration of magnesium and calcium, the product helps regulate blood pressure, relaxes blood vessels. And vitamin E contained in shellfish increases the flexibility and strength of cell membranes.
It is recommended to introduce oysters into food more often for people whose work is related to mental stress. Shellfish are useful sources of vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and iron, which have a positive effect on brain performance. Studies have shown that a low content of iron in the body reduces a person’s ability to concentrate, while a zinc deficiency adversely affects the memory function.
The presence of selenium, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus and calcium in the product also contributes to the strengthening of bones, serves as the prevention of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. A high iron content is a good prevention of anemia.