Page 35 - 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.


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