Raw Oyster Malevolence

I just read this cute blog on Blue Lotus about a person who has never liked raw oysters, trying one fresh in Hokkaido and becoming a convert. I like this story. I like it when people try something new and change their opinion. It always fills me with hope.

Except I know if I was her friend and there with her, she would probably still hate oysters. This is because of the way I embarrass and harangue people into trying new food.

I'm a bit of an old nasty hag, you see. I know that.

I recently berated someone I like very much for never having eaten a raw oyster. Our common friend had a dinner party and bought fresh oysters which he shucked himself. A real treat. I happily downed my allotted two and then turned to my friend D and enquired as to why he wasn't eating them?

"I've never tried them before"

"let me guess, you grew up in some inland rural town of Australia"

"yes" he said relieved that I understood that raw oysters were not native to him

"yeah, but you're 31 now and how long did you live in Melbourne? I'd understand if you were 18 and fresh from the bush, but goddamit your 31 and you still haven't even tried one? What the hell is wrong with you"

So then, ummm, yeah. He tried one. I patted him on the back and he gave me a look like I am evil.

I know I am. I like to point out people's sore points, give them a hard time, see if they'll crack under pressure. If I had not said anything maybe he would have tried one, decided he liked it and ate another. But having eaten one under such trying conditions, I'm sure that he was left with a bad after taste, raw oyster or not.

I guess that makes me a not very nice person.

But really the story of raw oysters and me is not really a very nice one to begin with.

I was eating oysters in the womb. I kid you not. My mother reckons that when she was pregnant with me she constantly craved raw oysters, even though she herself doesn't like them. Nonetheless she gouged on them, swearing it was me demanding them. Pregnant women are not supposed to eat raw oysters, or raw anything for that matter as a bad one can give you such violent food poisoning that it can kill your baby. So perhaps I was so demanding of raw oysters in the womb that it was impossible to resist, or maybe she was trying to abort me from the start. And given that my mother and I have never really gotten on, I sometimes think it was possibly a little of both.

Sometimes I like to think being fed raw oysters in the womb has given me some sort of bad raw oyster immunity

Today, happily alive and blogging, my raw oyster fetish continues unabated. They haven't killed me yet. However on a recent trip to Sydney to see my sisters, I'm now a little more wary of the true dangers of oysters. As per family tradition, we all trundled down to the Sydney Fish Markets and I bought five dozen oysters. 3 trays of Sydney Rock oysters (small and sweet), and 2 trays of pacific (larger and salty).


They were pre-shucked. It was the last day of the Easter holidays. We ate them and a few hours later my little sister was in agony out both ends.

I stayed up the entire night with her. Bought her glasses of water and kept a watchful eye to make sure she didn't cark it. She survived the night and the next morning was driven to the airport, placed in a wheelchair and flown back to New Zealand.

She has made a full recovery, but is unlikely to eat a raw oyster for a very long time.

I'm so glad that it wasn't her first time eating an oyster. I'm glad that she wasn't my friend D and that on top of being harangued into eating an oyster he wasn't nearly killed doing so.

I swear to the Flying Spaghetti Monster that the next time I tease someone into eating something they've never tried it will be fresh, cooked and unlikely to kill them.


    "maybe she was trying to abort me from the start." LoL!

    A nice little food parable from start to finish!
    maybe parable is the wrong word, anecdote is better!


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