Eating raw oysters is a uniquely invigorating experience; a bit like battery-licking for grown-ups. It seems that we can taste the elements they contain: zinc, calcium, copper, iodine, magnesium. And no other food conjures up a physical feature of the Earth as strongly as a bracing, salty, tangy oyster: the essence of the sea in edible form.
Oysters can now be obtained throughout the year but are usually better outside of their spawning period (when the waters are colder). BUYING
Oysters should be stored at a low temperature and smell briny-fresh. The shells should be clean, bright, tightly-closed and unbroken.
Size, shape and flavour vary considerably. The best from British and Irish waters are considered to be those from Colchester, Whitstable, the Helford and Galway. Nativesare pricier and generally thought of as the superior oyster - don't bother using them for cooked dishes.Pacific or rock oysters tend to have a frillier shell and smaller, milder meat.