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bahrain

Oyster Adventures

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I’ve lived in Bahrain over a decade now and for over a decade I’ve been asking…why don’t ever we eat our oysters?

We hunt for pearls, we lust after their shells, we shuck them, we treasure them, we spend tons on them...but why.not.eat.the.darn.oysters!?

Around the world these gelatinous, balls of deliciousness are fawned and fanned over. But here...from what I've been told we don't eat them. A few mumblings about how they are aphrodisiacs or even haram to eat, but no one has given me a substantial reason as of yet.

So, after over a decade of curiosity, an itch that just couldn't be scratched, I ordered bucket load of fresh oysters to try out.  

For 12 BD a bucket (around 30 USD), fresh oysters that were caught barely an hour or so before being delivered to me at my home.  I was slightly aghast at what I had set myself up for. This bucket consisted of 100s of oysters...some still moving around a little (this is not for the faint hearted!)

My teeny tiny flat suddenly turned into a full operation.

The stations I created:

  1. An area for checking if their mouths are open or closed. If they are open and don't stay closed, they get thrown out.
  2. A water station; here the closed oysters are left to soak in a bucket of cold water with a touch of baking soda for a 15-minute pre-cleanse, after that...
  3. The scrub down. A rigorous rub that takes off any of the remaining scuff.
  4. Finally the shucking part...a sharp knife, some blood (from me nicking myself) and the opening of the oysters.

Opened up, I slathered on the toppings ready for them to hit the oven for a brisk 8 min broil.

The first lot we made were of a heavy-duty topping...a rockefeller-esque style...labneh, cheddar, parmesan, garlic, breadcrumbs and spinach. Anything could taste nice under that...and hell, those little oysters prevailed to be perfect umami parcels.

Then we tiptoed around an Asian style topping...Miso paste, rice vinegar, mirin, sesame oil and a dash of furikake (a sesame Japanese seasoning). Hell yeah... Bahraini oysters were holding their own.

Finally...for the piece de resistance, a simple truffle butter slab was laid on each oyster. Baked in the oven again, then served...GOOD LAWWDDD....what a surprisingly elegant, tasty yet tough little morsels they were!

They may not be as large and generous, like their European or American counterparts...but for little homegrown molluscs...high five to our local seas. Mother nature, you reward us with your bounty.

Where to purchase: Instagram @oysters.bh

Essential: tell them you are eating them, so they deliver freshly caught oysters (not day old), wear messy clothes and think about getting one of their shucking knives, at 2 BD a pop.

Have fun, drink throughout the process, be merry!

Bahrain, once again you are full of wonderful surprises xoxo

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