Sunday, June 21, 2015

Les huîtres v/s かき (Kaki)

It's always very entertaining when two great food cultures have diametrically opposed views on a subject.

For starters, it doesn't happen very often because the human palate is pretty consistent. What's left behind is the purest form of the arbitrary nature of culture.

The point in contention here is the nature of oysters and how they are best consumed.

First the similarities — both the French and the Japanese agree that oysters are amazing and worth consuming in spite of the incredible effort involved in opening them.

(The CC would like to point out that oyster middens are some of the oldest sites involving ancient humans. Clearly, our ancestors agreed with both the French and the Japanese!)

What they differ on is how.

The French, from whom we've obtained some of our biases, insist that the ideal way to eat the oyster is raw where it "tastes of the sea".

The Japanese are equally insistent that the ideal way is that it be cooked (either grilled or fried) where the "juices are concentrated".

(Frying and grilling are precise ways of concentrating the meat by removing water.)

One would ordinarily have expected the Japanese to be enthusiastic about the raw oyster but they are adamant that oysters are best consumed cooked. There is no "oyster sashimi".

The CC will leave this open as a "striptease" but his views on these subjects tend to be relatively clear.

Weigh in on the subject in the comments.

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