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Littleneckhalfshell

Fried Oysters

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just been reading about oysters and came across this.... on this site:

http://www.colonialtable.com/recipes-3/sea-food/sea-food/17th-century-oysters/

""TO FRY OYSTERS The Accomplisht Cook, Robert May 1685

Take two quarts of great Oysters being parboil’d in their own liquor, and washed in warm water, bread them, dry them, and flour them, fry them in clarified butter crisp and white, then have butter’d prawns or shrimps, butter’d with cream and sweet butter, lay them in the bottom of a clean dish, and lay the fryed oysters round about them, run them over with beaten butter, juyce of oranges, bay-leaves stuck round the Oysters, and slices of oranges or lemons.""

So is this from a cookbook of our period? It seems to say the receipt is from 1685. anyway, I am all for a period oyster fry. :-) sounds yummy

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The Accomplisht Cook is a great period book. I have a wonderful facsimile copy. You can find it in paperback. The garish green cover is awful, but the interior facsimile is great.

http://www.amazon.com/Accomplisht-Cook-1665-85-Marcus-Bell/dp/090732598X/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1408246208&sr=8-13&keywords=the+accomplisht+cook

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Receipt = Recipe in period-speak. And it does sound yummy. I expect William, Iron Jon and Captain Jim will be preparing that at PiP this year. :)

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Mister Mallet!

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Oysters were very popular food, and iirc, common tavern fare in season. I have a copy of May from this source: https://prospectbooks.co.uk/books/978-1-903018-71-2

It is completely appropriate for the period and has lots of great recepts!

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I must admit that I'm a recent convert and I would have once said why ruin a good thing by frying them... that was before I ran into a fried oyster vendor on Queen Street in Hampton, Va. Since then I am a regular at a local seafood eatery... my favorite... fried oyster sandwich with tartar sauce. ;)

According to the skipper on the Priscilla, a historic 1888 L.I. oyster sloop, oysters were once a cheap, nutritional and plentiful food for the immigrant masses. He also tells a story that the ubiquitous cardboard chinese food containers were first invented for shucked oysters take-out.

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I've never had fried oysters. I'll put that on the list of soon to try.

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Oh yes, oysters used to be cheap and common along the coast, and huge in the late 17/early 18C by comparison to today's standards. Not these little palm-sized things you get nowadays. Oyster shell middens are a not uncommon feature at archaeological sites around the Chesapeake (and elsewhere, iirc). Although crushing the shells and using them for other purposes may make them less common than they could be. Iirc, there are illustrations of oyster sellers in the various versions of Cries of London.

I had relatives that ran a shrimp boat and caught oysters on the Gulf as part of their retirement living. Dad would come home with half gallon milk cartons full of the things, he ate them raw and fried mostly. My husband's family had been watermen since the late 17C in the Northern Neck. They ate them just about any which way you could, including in the stuffing at Thanksgiving.

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