Oysters, a choice of Casanovas and true connoisseurs
As Jonathan Swift once said, ‘He was a bold man who first ate an oyster.'They don’t look like food, after all – more pointy rocks that hang out on the seabed. Even so, oysters have been a favorite of food gourmands and romantics throughout the centuries. Roman emperors literally paid for them by their weight in gold, and the dashing lover Casanova never started his dinner without eating a dozen of oysters.
What makes them so popular? In brief: the taste. Baked, fried, or raw, there is nothing better than the sweet briny goodness of an oyster – you should try them, if you have not, for their taste is absolutely unique. Just as the geography, soil, and climate of a vineyard gives a distinct flavor to the resulting wine, oysters can be very salty or sweet, with notes of cucumber, melon, herbs, butter, flint, or copper, all depending on the water in which they grew. Porto Maltese serves three kinds of oysters:
La Fine de Claires with a slight flavor of sweet nut;
Apart from the taste, oysters are extremely nutritious, offering a good source of iron, calcium, zinc (the testosterone-triggering mineral that gives oysters their reputation as an aphrodisiac) and selenium.
La Royale, which has a unique prolonged after-taste;
Perle Blanche - an oyster in an elegant shell with a mild sweet taste and saturated iodine flavor.
Porto Maltese searches the freshest, most succulent oysters around the globe to bring to the tables, so that our guests can enjoy them. Fresh oysters are flown to our restaurants from Europe on a daily basis, transported in algae-filled containers. Before the departure oysters are carefully examined, and even tiny cracks in the shell can prevent them from getting on board. It takes about 16 hours to bring oysters from the Mediterranean Sea to a nicely laid table at Porto Maltese. The company has high package and transportation standards, which ensures the perfect quality of oysters.
The secret to divine-tasting oysters is simplicity itself. If you have not tried yet this delicatessen, our chefs suggest that your first acquaintance with oysters at Porto Maltese should be raw oysters on a bed of crushed ice. Purists insist that accessorizing with anything other than a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of mignonette (a sauce of wine, vinegar, shallots and pepper) is unthinkable. But there are other great options, too – such as chili, cocktail and mignonette sauces, among other dressings.
Once you get this amazing dish, take your time to smell it. Oysters smell of sea adventures and fresh breeze. Now tip the shell into your mouth, being careful to not spill the flavorful “liquor” surrounding the meat. Oyster lovers are divided as to whether it’s better to chew or simply slurp it down, but there’s really no wrong way to do it.
While champagne is a traditional accompaniment to oysters, many dry, acidic white wines work equally well. Try muscadet and chablis, as well as unoaked chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. Avoid reds; the tannins clash with the taste of oysters.
At Porto Maltese restaurants you can taste this delicious treat that used to inspire Casanova and Bonaparte – and, who knows, maybe even find a pearl in it!