Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How is a baby like an oyster? If the baby in question is one of mine, they spend a lot of time in a shell before joining the party. Also: the actual product may be slimier than it first appears.

I mean that in a good way, of course. Really, I do. Oysters are yummy, and my babies are cute even when they are unexpectedly covered in spit-up first thing in the morning. One of the fonder memories from childhood is smelling a pot of my mom's oyster stew simmering on the stove. We loved it and wished the pot would last longer- there was seldom any point in putting it away at night because we would eat bowl after bowl of the stuff, licking spoons and running a finger along the inside of the bowl in an effort to get every last drop.

One thing that turns many people off oysters is the fear of what is kindly termed "food poisoning". That phrase covers a lot of ground, including the Vibrio vulnificus infection which is what someone at risk can contract from raw or improperly prepared oysters. Really, though, if you are not at risk there is very little chance that you'll get sick. That's why you don't need to fear eating Gulf oysters anymore. Dig out those recipes and before you know it you too can be enjoying this tasty treat. As with so many other feared foods these days there's a website set up to reassure you- BeOysterAware is a great source for both recipes and facts about just who is at high-risk for the virus, the symptoms, how and when to seek a doctor's help, and how to avoid the nasties while still enjoying oysters.

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