There is no day on the calendar better suited to aphrodisiac foods than Valentine’s Day. And one of the most notorious foods rumored to help people get in the mood is fresh, raw oysters. The legendary 18th century lover Casanova wrote in his memoir that he ate fifty oysters every day for breakfast, and dozens more at lunch and dinner. Recently, a team of American and Italian researchers found that there is indeed science behind the oyster aphrodisiac reputation. It turns out the shellfish are rich in rare amino acids known to trigger an increase in sex hormones. Those amino acids actually peak in the Spring, making them the perfect lover’s pick-me-up even well beyond Valentine’s Day.
Capitalize on the fun of buying oysters to celebrate Valentine’s Day with specials, colorful signs, or heart-shaped displays at the fish counter. Even skeptics of the aphrodisiac theory will admit there is something sensual about the taste and silky texture of these delicious delicacies. Your customers can also purchase them directly from us at DailyFreshFish.com.
For customers who may be trying oysters for the first time, consider sending them home with the below tips, for some confidence and guidance. They’ll likely come back soon for more if their first attempt at enjoying fresh, raw oysters on the half shell is a smooth, scrumptious success.
While you’re at it, don’t be shy about asking customers of your Bay Area (San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose) seafood market for a little love back. Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to grow your online credibility in an organic way. Offer them a ten percent discount or some other perk for “liking” your market on Facebook at the checkout stand, or giving you four or five stars through Yelp or Google Reviews. Just about everyone has the Facebook App on their phone these days, and is already signed in to Google to access email and the web while they’re on the go. An extra twenty seconds per customer at the register has the potential to do you a world of good. Many would-be customers decide where to shop based on online engagement, comments, and rankings instead of checking out the store for themselves.
1. When you get home, store your oysters in the fridge with their flat side facing up. Don’t store them on ice, unless there is a barrier between that ice and the oysters. Fresh water can kill oysters, just as suffocating them in an airtight container will kill them. The fridge is cool enough. To keep them moist, wet a kitchen towel and drape it on top.
2. Cleaning oysters is easy. Simply run them under cold tap water. If you see any gunk on the shell, use a scrub brush. Clean the oysters only right before you are ready to shuck and serve them. After cleaning the oysters, get them on ice. The key is to keep these guys cool all the way up to the point they enter your mouth.
3. Time to shuck. First, you’ll need a protective glove, and an oyster knife. No, you cannot use your trusty paring knife. An oyster knife needs to be very strong and sturdy. And if it slips, that’s what the glove is for. Start by holding the oyster with the “hinge” facing you, cup down. Wedge the tip of the oyster knife into the hinge. Now push down and twist that knife slightly, to create a gap. Next, slide the knife under the flat, top part of the shell, separating it from the meat. Take off the top shell. Last, run the knife under the oyster to cut it free from that bottom shell. Don’t remove the flesh, though. Keep it in that wonderful serving bowl nature has created.
4. Serve your beautiful oysters on the half shell on a bed of crushed ice, fanned around your favorite sauces and garnishes.