Oysters

I enjoy eating raw oysters. I didn’t begin to eat them until my thirties. They were never an acquired taste for me; I dug them from the beginning. They taste of the ocean. I like the slurp and the chew. They are on my plate as often as I can eat them. Filtering their food from the waters of the ocean, they are an excellent natural source of minerals as well.

Raw oysters are clearly not for everyone. A quality mignonette sauce or lemon juice can be added to calm a brassy finish. Some people add hot sauce only to kill the flavor. Alternatively, oysters can be fried to delicious effect. Some people add them to dressing at Thanksgiving which always seems like a mistake to me.

There are people who will never be convinced to like raw oysters. The taste for some is too briny. Perhaps the texture reminds others of a hawker. Apart from taste and texture, a mouth full of raw seafood may be a hard-shell hard sell.

Those who do not like oysters are not, to me, Phillistines. They do not fall out of bounds of acceptable or correct eating habits. If after trying an oyster, a diner has no more use for the dish, then I can respect their just-as-correct opinion of the bivalves I enjoy.

The same goes for new music. I may love a new composition in its chewy, salty entirety. Not only the sounds but the experience in the concert hall, subway platform or black box. If another listener has her reasons for not liking a new opus, what can we oyster eaters say? It doesn’t even need to be a “good” reason. A plain reason will do for me. My delight in raw oysters does not prove or disprove anything based on someone else’s disgust. Raw music is the same.

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