When Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love (aka “Venus” to the Romans), sprang forth from the sea on an oyster shell and promptly gave birth to Eros (aka “Cupid”), the word “aphrodisiac” was born. From that lofty beginning, oysters have long been thought to arouse sexual desire in lovers.
Ilene Polansky is an expert on the subject of oysters – she is the owner of Maestro S.V.P. a seafood bistro and oyster bar in Montreal that carries more than 15 varieties of oysters year round. She has also written a number of articles on the subject of oysters for GlobalGourmet.com.
Ilene gives us a well-rounded look on this Valentine’s Day favorite -- from its history and myths, to the different types of oysters and the best wines to accompany them (she suggests Champagne, Spanish dry sherry and Chardonnay, whose flavors marry well with the oysters’ unique seaweedy, salty and mineral flavors).
Quick tip: How do you know if an oyster is fresh? If the shells are not tightly closed and there is a strong odor.