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Oysters

  • The oyster leads a dreadful but exciting life. Indeed, his chance to live at all is slim, and if he should survive the arrows of his own outrageous fortune and in the two weeks of his carefree youth find a clean smooth place to fix on, the years afterwards are full of stress, passion, and danger.

  • Almost any normal oyster never knows from one year to the next whether he is he or she, and may start at any moment, after the first year, to lay eggs where before he spent his sexual energies in being exceptionally masculine.

  • On the other hand, a flaccid, moping, debauched mollusc, tired from too much love and loose-nerved from general world conditions, can be a shameful thing served raw upon the shell.

  • ... there is a shock of freshness to it. Intimations of the ages of man, some piercing intuition of the sea and all its weeds and breezes shiver you a split second from that little stimulus on the palate. You are eating the sea ...

  • Music or the color of the sea are easier to describe than the taste of one of these Armoricaines ...

  • And what could be moister / Than tears from an oyster ...

  • A trout, sauteed, with almonds on it / Is proper subject for a sonnet; / My praise is loud for sole — and louder / For bouillabaisse or Boston chowder; / And tender is the mood evoked / In me by salmon, fresh or smoked. / Indeed I offer warm reception / To all seafood, with one exception: / My cold disdain will never thaw / For oysters on the half-shell — raw.

  • You ought to try eating raw oysters in a restaurant with every eye focused upon you — it makes you feel as if the creatures were whales, your fork a derrick and your mouth Mammouth Cave.

    • Lillian Russell,
    • in Marie Dressler, The Life Story of an Ugly Duckling ()