As many of you already know, when it comes to oysters on the half shell I can be a real pain in the tuckus. I want those mollusks to be perfectly shucked, and perfectly presented. They also have to be real. I do not tolerate pasteurized or pre-shucked and frozen oysters on the half shell. As I said, I can be a real picker of nits when it comes to my oysters.
In my youth, as a lad growing up near Eastpoint on the Florida panhandle, I shucked a fair amount of these pearls from the sea. The older I get, the less fond I am of shuckin'. Consequently, if I want those tasty treats but don't want to do the shucking, I have to go out and let someone else do the deed.
The problem with that is the venues in and about Tampa that do carry fresh oysters, for the most part, do not employ shuckers who have a freakin' clue. If you ask, many will admit that they don't eat and don't like them - and, it shows.
Well, my newest best friend Earl has got me hooked up. Earl doesn't know yet that he is my newest best friend, but Earl has invented the most marvelous of devices - Earl's Original Oyster Opener.
You can visit his web site and get all the particulars. You can see the history of the Oyster Opener and get the scoop on Earl the man.
Everyone always asks "Is there really an Earl?" In fact my friends there is. Earl was my father and spent a great deal of his leisure time in the Apalachicola, Florida bay eating oysters. In fact, Earl become so well known for his oysters that having oysters with Earl became a must for friends and family alike. When he was nicknamed by several friends the "Earl of The Oyster" a small urban legend began to get out of control.
You can also see photos showing how the opener works. Everything you need to know is on that web site - but, is it bogus or is it real?
The Oracle will now weigh in on that question.
Here is the device that was delivered to me:
Ten minutes later it looked like this:
It would have looked like that a little sooner, but I paused to open a beer. Since the pointy wedge is facing the wrong direction in the photo, one could assume I also drank that beer.
The next step was to procure some oysters. I went up to the local Publix, where shopping is an adventure, and had the fish monger hand pick a half dozen oysters. I figured if this mother shuckin' device didn't work I didn't want to be stuck shuckin' a shit load (official unit of Southern measurement).
Now, let's get to shuckin' just like the instructions said:
Oh my, look at this:
I was practically orgasmic! That shuckin' thing worked just like Earl said and I got a perfect oyster. I didn't have to cuss or run to the medicine cabinet for a tourniquet.
Earl offers one of these:
In the interest of full disclosure I need to mention that you will still need an oyster knife. The opener does open as advertised, but you still need something to cut the shell from the membrane to release the oyster. That has always been the easy part. The hard part is just getting the damn thing open in the first place. Earl solved that problem.
Notice: The Oracle paid full price for this device including shipping and whatever, and we are not being compensated in any manner by Earl's Original Oyster Opener.
If you like oysters on the half shell, you really do need one of these things...unless you are a masochist.