Editor’s Note


Chargrilled. That’s how I like to eat my oysters. I’ll slurp a raw one or six with the customary accoutrements (preferably lemon juice, cocktail sauce, horseradish and hot sauce, as well as mignonette, because I like to mix it up) and I of course love them fried either on their own or as part of a messy poor boy. But even just writing about them chargrilled is making me crave a dozen smothered in butter, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Oh boy, I know what I’m having for dinner. For our annual “Best of” feature in which we turn our attention to who is making waves with their version of a certain food, oysters were a no-brainer for me. My guess is the vast majority of those of you reading this agree it was a good choice.

This beloved, briny bivalve ranks right up there with crawfish, shrimp and crabs when it comes to Louisiana seafood. Louisianians wait in line for fresh, plump Gulf oysters. We wring our hands when the beds are under weather-related and man-made threats or when there’s a shortage. We gather together over big batches (raw, grilled, fried or cooked in soups, stews, gumbos, patties and oyster dressing) for celebrations. We just can’t get enough. Except those who, like my husband, are allergic — bless his and y’all’s hearts. Truly. It’s so sad to eat oysters in front of someone who wants to, but can’t because they’ll get sick. Not sad enough to pass on eating the oysters, but sorrowful nonetheless.

It would make my dearly departed mama especially proud to know that I eat raw oysters now. There was a time when I wanted nothing to do with those slippery suckers — thank you very much. As a child I’d watch her and my grandpa relish them raw devouring one after the other as if it were their job. Truth be told, I only started enjoying raw oysters about 10 years ago. My appreciation for them grew slowly over time. I’d try one every few years or so and recommit to hating them for another few years. Then one year while on a girls trip I gave it the old college try and voilà — oyster lover. As you maybe guessed, I’m not a quitter when it comes to food.

I’m proof positive that the palate changes over time. Oysters, olives and — I’m ashamed to admit — hot sauce, are all things I used to dislike, but grew to love and consume with abandon. If there’s a food you hate, take my advice, try it every once in a while and see if anything has changed for you. You just might discover a favorite food.

On that note, whether oysters are your favorite food or not, join us on a culinary adventure throughout Acadiana as we sample the best oyster dishes in the region. Of course we will have left out a place or three that does a bang up job, because we don’t have the space to include every oyster purveyor in Cajun Country or, perhaps there’s a place that just isn’t on our radar. So please do email me if we left off your favorite joint, so we can consider them the next time we cover oysters. Or, on a personal note, send me your favorites so I can visit the place and sample their goods. If I don’t hear from you, have a wonderful holiday season. Cheers!

Melanie Warner Spencer
Managing Editor


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