Top | Newsletter 2012

Culinate Newsletter June 20

(mailing, James Berry)

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 h1. Dear readers,

 Do you remember your first raw oyster? Mine was years ago in New York, at a restaurant whose name I cannot recall. I was having lunch with an editor at the food magazine where I was an intern. "Do you like oysters?" he asked casually, studying the menu. "Yes," I replied, remembering the fried oysters I'd unenthusiastically eaten a few times, and the bland oyster stew I'd recently been served at a friend's house. In fact, I didn't love them, but they were just fine, and I felt it was important on this occasion to go with the flow, food wise. 

 "On the half shell?" he asked, his eyebrows raised. I didn't know what that meant, but well, how bad could it be? 

 They arrived, raw oysters in hard pearly shells arrayed on a tray of chipped ice. “I thought you said you liked them,” he chided me, seeing my fallen face. "I do — but I didn't realize … I mean, I'll happily try them," I stammered. 

 I watched as he spooned a little mignonette sauce on an oyster, raised the shell to his lips, and slurped it. He didn't coach me much, just sat there, so I repeated his actions, tipping the oyster into my mouth and swallowing hard. It wasn't horrible, but I can't say I loved raw oysters right away. 

 Now I savor the opportunity to eat oysters on the half shell. And I'm really glad to have Kerry Newberry's column about pairing wine and oysters to guide me in choosing wine to go with them. In researching this topic, Kerry talked with a legendary shellfish expert, Jon Rowley, and learned about his Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition. I hope you can take advantage of Jon's suggestions too — to achieve your own "oyster moment."
 Kim Carlson
 Editorial Director

 P.S. Check out this charming video for a Michael Pollan message in a nutshell.

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story1text: "His bestselling book 'Tomatoland' looks in depth at the work world of modern-day food harvesters."
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story2text: "Christina Eng has been to New Orleans just once, but nevertheless its food left an indelible mark on her palate." 

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recipe1text: "Toasting the farro enhances its flavor in this dish from 'Off the Menu,' a collection of staff meal recipes."
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recipe2text: "A Lone Star State classic cookie — which happens to be gluten-free — from the Homesick Texan." 

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