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Book of Days

BOOK OF DAYS: A POET AND NATURALIST TRIES TO FIND POETRY IN EVERY DAY

Filtering by Tag: oysters

February 11: Oysters

Kristen Lindquist

Tonight we went out to a raw bar with friends, and the four of us got at least a half-dozen each. I love oysters. There's the obvious sensual appeal of slurping the salty fleshy scrap of mollusk off the gritty half-shell. And there's also something deliciously elemental about eating this fruit of the sea--it tastes like the very ocean made tangible. We were enjoying Pemaquid oysters, grown locally not far from the very waters outside the restaurant windows. A medium-sized tasty oyster, made in Maine, they're one of my favorites. Confronted with an open oyster bar, I have been known to consume several dozen Pemaquid oysters in a minutes. I've never found myself too full of oysters.

I've been fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit several times an amazing private collection of 17th-century Dutch paintings, which includes such classics as a Brueghel winter village tableau, an Averkamp skating scene, and a van Ruisdael landscape with windmill. But the one I really enjoy looking at up close is a beautifully detailed still-life of food on a table by 17th century Flemish painter Osias Beert. I can't tell you what other food items make up this tableau--a peeled lemon, maybe?--because front and center is a plate of oysters on the half-shell that look so real you want to just reach out and grab one. Now that's a work of art!

Oyster: sea made flesh
slides easily down the throat,
mouthful of ocean.