Tag Archives: oysters

OYSTERS AND PEARLS

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If you’re a sea buff, it’s important to know about oysters and pearls. Along time ago, pearls came from wild shelled mollusks. Pearl divers swam for them, and hundreds of pearl oysters or shelled mussels had to be opened just to obtain one pearl. This made the price of pearls extraordinary in Queen Elizabeth’s days. Pearls were the likes of kings and queens and never a common place thing. Although, pearl divers still dive for wild pearls in certain parts of the world to add to the luxury of the pearl market, most pearls are now grown in a laboratory much like a harvest. A tiny irritant is injected into the shelled mollusk along with an implanted bead usually, and the creature creates a pearl as a protection against the irritant. The timeframe is a whopping one year for an Akoya oyster to be harvested and much longer for other species. Many people think a grain of sand is often the irritant that causes a pearl to form, but in the wild it is usually a parasite inside the shell or an exterior shell attack. A pearl can also come from clams such as the most famous and largest natural pearl ever The Pearl of Lao Tzu. Weighing a staggering 14 pounds, the pearl was valued at around 40 million dollars by The Guiness Books of World Records. The internal make-up of a wild pearl like those from clams and a cultivated one are different, and X-ray detection can discern the two. In The Opaque Stones, I have many pearls and oysters, and  before writing the book, like a fool, I always just thought oysters were wild pearl producers, harvested that way, and a particular species excelled at it. After reading about the process, I learned some fascinating things for writing the book. You won’t get much more about it from reading my book than I have here, but it’s worth a look for fun. If you liked oysters and pearls, you might like the art of treasure hunting.

Trivia: Why won’t you get a pearl in an oyster by accident while eating out? Answer: Because pearls generally come from a different species called a pearl oyster.

NEW YORK OYSTERS

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Hi, I am author and travel expert Duke Tate here today to talk to you about New York oysters. Living and growing up near the Gulf Coast, I’ve eaten oysters my whole life. While traveling, I also enjoy tasting oysters from different regions all over the US. Little oysters, big oysters, briny, sweet, tart, like good wines. every oyster is just a little different. I’ve had them all. One of my favorite oyster experiences was eating at the Monterey Fish House where we dined on big Pacific oysters on the half that covered half the plate. Just 6 is all you need there. Another favorite place is Wintzell’s in Fairhope, Alabama. His sayings cover the walls, bits and pieces of wisdom about life. It’s life and oysters there. But my favorite oyster experience from the 38 states I’ve traveled through, is the Grand Central Oyster Bar in New York City. Located in Grand Central Station, the oyster bar oozes with old world charm due to the vaulted ceilings, tiled walls and the waiters’ New York manner. One thing that makes it truly unique is the amount of oysters to sample from, provided they are in season. The raw bar features 29 different shelled delicacies from all over the Eastern seaboard. Including the Grand Central Bar, The Voice has a pretty solid list of other oyster dives and bars alike to eat at in Gotham. Check it out.

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