Raw Wellfleet Oysters with Lemon Wedges & Cocktail Sauce
Oysters (crassotrea virginica)
Prepared horseradish (e.g. Gold’s)
- Go to Wellfleet, Massachusetts. (You will never wish to leave.)
- Buy a shellfish permit.
- Assemble the following supplies: bucket, screwdriver, submersible shoes, and gloves.
- Go to a bay beach at low tide (I prefer Indian Neck Beach).
- Splash around in the shallow water, gathering clumps of oysters from the seabed.
- Pry them apart with your screwdriver, tossing back the little ones.
- Throw the big ones into your bucket. When you have enough, leave.
- Rinse them off when you get them home.
- Place them into a container of some sort, bottom side down, and refrigerate them. They will now enter a sort of suspended animation, and will stay perfectly fresh for at least a week if kept cold.
- Put some ketchup in a bowl.
- Add horseradish and lemon juice to taste.
- Using a knife, slice some lemons into longitudinal segments.
- Shuck the oysters, preferably without injuring yourself. A tutorial on oyster-shucking is beyond the scope of this document.
- Present the shucked oysters, supine and beckoning, on as attractive a platter as you can manage, accompanied by lemon wedges and a bowl of cocktail sauce.†
- † Some fancy-pants Big City types will tell you that it is an abomination to use ordinary cocktail sauce on such exquisite molluscs. Shun them. They are mistaken.