Page 34 - Cemair SkyNews Jun/Jul 2017
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FOOD / EMMA JORDAN













          The world and her oyster






          Every year almost 50,000 visitors hit Knysna for the annual Knysna                                                                                                                        Tempura Oyster with
          Oyster Festival. Ten days of outdoor adventure is complemented by wine                                                                                                                    Asian Dipping Sauce
          tasting and of course, dozens and dozens of oysters. Here, we unpack
          ten facts to know about the mighty oyster.                                                                                                                                                Knysna’s iconic oyster bar 34º South
                                                                                                                                                                                                    shares one of their delicious signature
                                                                                                                                                                                                    oyster dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    INGREDIENTS
                                                                                                                                                                                                    For the dipping sauce:
                                                                                                                                                                                                    20g            Garlic
          WILD VS CULTIVATED                                 NUMBERS GAME                                                                                                                           15ml           Sesame Oil
          There are two types of oysters – those that grow wild   Globally,  there  are  over  150  varieties  of  oysters,  but                                                                    20g            Ginger
          on the rocks and those that are farmed. In Knysna, the   only five species. Pacific oysters are wildly farmed and                                                                         250ml          Mirin
          pickers  need  a  permit  and  wild  oysters  can  only  be   thought to be the sweetest; Kumamoto oysters come                                                                           20g            Chilli
          harvested on a Spring Tide (four days a month).    from Japan; Atlantic Oysters are known as the ‘great                                                                                   130ml          Soya Sauce
                                                             American  oyster’;  the  European  Flat  Oyster  is  often                                                                             50g            Fresh Coriander
          DOES SIZE MATTER?                                  called the Belon and the Olympia oyster is found off                                                                                   30g            Caster Sugar
          Wild oysters  are naturally  bigger  than  cultivated   the West Coast of the US.                                                                                                         80ml           White wine Vinegar
          oysters. Oysters grow up to seven centimetres a year                                                                                                                                      20ml           Oyster Sauce
          early on in life, but as they grow older, that slows down   LOCAL FLAVOUR
          to as little as one centimetre a year. In 2013 an oyster   The Cape Rock oyster (Striostrea margaritacea)                                                                                 For the Oyster:
          weighing over 2kg was found in the Wadden Sea off   is  found  naturally  with  a  geographic  distribution                                                                               24             Medium Oysters
          the coast of Denmark.                              occurring  on  rocky  reefs  from  Cape  Agulhas  to                                                                                   250g           Tempura Flour
                                                             Mozambique. Farmed oysters tend to be Pacific oysters.                                                                                 200ml          Soda Water
          LIVE AND LET LIVE                                                                                                                                                                         5ml            Pepper
          Oysters  are  alive  until  they’re  opened.  At    34°  South   PEARL DAZE                                                                                                                              Pinch of Salt
          in  Knysna  there  are  four  tanks  that  can  keep  up  to   Pearls  are  created  when  an irritant,  like  a grain of
          50,000 oysters alive until needed.                 sand, gets  between the  oyster  shell  and the mantle                                                                                 METHOD:
                                                             (the  fleshy  part  of  an  oyster).  The  oyster  covers  this                                                                        For the dipping sauce:  Finely chop all
          LIVING LA VIDA LOCA                                with nacre, the same substance that forms the shell.                                                                                   dry ingredients. Mix together in a bowl
          Oysters have the ability to change their sex — they can   Mussels and clams can also produce pearls, but they                                                                             with the rest of the ingredients.
          change from male to female as they have gonads that   don’t do so as often.
          generate eggs as well as sperm.  Oyster larvae (baby                                                                                                                                      For the Oysters:  Shuck the oysters,
          oysters) are called “spats”.                       THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION                                                                                                            remove from the shell and set aside.
                                                             What’s  the  magic  ingredient?  Zinc.  The  mollusc  is                                                                               Heat the oil in a deep fryer or heavy
          SHUCK IT BABY                                      packed  with  the  magic  mineral  that  is  an  all  around                                                                           base sauce pan to 180 degrees. Mix
          When someone says “I am going to shuck an oyster” it   health  tonic.  Although  there’s  no  scientific  evidence,                                                                       together the tempura flour, soda water,
          means they are going to open an oyster.  The verb “to   it’s  believed  a  lack  of  zinc  can  lead  to  impotency.                                                                      pepper & salt. Dip the oysters in the
          shuck”, meaning to remove the shell from the oyster,   Wherever you stand, there’s no doubt zinc does boost                                                                               batter and place the oyster in the
          was first recorded in 1881.                        the  immune system, helps get rid of acne, eases rashes                                                                                hot oil, 4-6 at a time. Fry until golden
                                                             and makes your bones stronger.                                                                                                         brown.
          A CLEAN RECORD
          Oysters feed mainly on plankton and decayed plants,                                                                                                                                       Serve oyster with Asian dipping sauce.
          and can filter up to 120 litres of water per day.


         34 | JUNE / JULY 2017 CEMAIR SKYNEWS                                                                                                                                                            CEMAIR SKYNEWS JUNE / JULY 2017 | 35
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