Besides chocolate, oysters are next on the list of classic delectable aphrodisiacs. The salty-sweet brine and smooth texture is simply delicious.
What makes an oyster an aphrodisiac? The fragrant musk of oysters is similar in scent to female pheromones, and their noted amount of zinc, a key mineral vital to testosterone production, is believed to increase male libido. Zinc alerts our sense of smell as well as taste, making the oyster experience highly pleasurable.
How do you open an oyster?
You will need an oyster knife, two dishtowels, and of course, fresh oysters.
1) Set the oyster on a damp dish towel
2) Place a folded dishtowel in your palm, folding it over your hand for protection against any slip of the oyster knife
3) Stand with your hip close to the counter, using it as a point to lean on
4) Insert the knife’s tip into the oyster fold and push down while turning it, as if opening a hinge, and push up until the shell opens
5) Slide the oyster knife under the bottom of the oyster’s flesh, curving it gently to cut the muscle that is attaching it to its shell.
6) Do not let the oyster’s delicious liquor spill out!
Creamy Oyster Soup for Two
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup cream
¼ cup milk
¼ cup vegetable or fish stock
8 oysters, chopped, and their juices
Pinch of salt
Dash of sherry
Cook the minced shallot in the butter on low heat. Add the stock, cream, milk, oyster juice, and a pinch of salt and simmer until hot. Add the oysters and cook just until they start to curl, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, add a dash of sherry and stir. If necessary, add more salt to taste and more sherry.
Oysters on the Half Shell with Mignonette (serves 2)
Fill a large plate with crushed or fragmented ice, and set 12 freshly opened oysters on the half shell with their juices on top. You can break up ice cubes by putting them in a plastic bag and throwing them against the floor.
For the sparkling mignonette
Grate one shallot into some sparkling wine or Champagne (save the rest to drink with the oysters) and add some freshly-ground black pepper. Stir the mignonette. Put it in a small dish and place in the center of the oyster plate with a small oyster spoon. Or you can dribble the mignonette directly onto the oysters prior to serving.
Garnish the plate with lemon wedges as some people like to squeeze lemon juice on their oysters, while others prefer chili hot sauce (by the way, chili peppers are also an aphrodisiac). Serve immediately. Pick up the shell, eat the oyster and drink the juices. The sexiest foods are the ones eaten by hand.
Note: The oyster that is sitting in its juice on the shell should not be attached to the shell (the muscle must be previously cut).