Fresh oysters are the perfect start to any festive dinner party or soirée, especially during the winter holiday season. In France, where no Christmas or New Year’s Eve celebration is complete without these briny bivalves, oysters on a half shell are traditionally served with a squeeze of lemon or a simple mignonette. We thought we’d mix things up this year, so skip the classics and surprise your guests with our daikon-wrapped oysters with cucumber and bergamot; oysters with lychee, rose and coconut crème; or our oysters with roasted eggplant purée and bergamot.
Aroma Analysis: Oysters
Green-grassy, green-cucumber and marine
Most of the oysters consumed in France are harvested along its coastal shores and bred from Japanese oyster larvae (Crassostrea gigas). An aroma analysis of these farmed Pacific oysters reveals a high concentration of fresh green-grassy, green-cucumber aroma molecules, in addition to their natural marine scent—but there’s more! Oysters have a complex aroma profile that includes other fruity, citrus notes and even some roasted popcorn-scented molecules. We also find vegetal-potato and mushroom-scented notes—all of which are key to the overall flavor experience when it comes to enjoying raw oysters.
When is it best to eat oysters?
The drop in temperatures during the cold winter months causes these marine mollusks to store glycogen in their livers, making them plumper and even more luscious—not to mention sweeter—than other seasons throughout the year. So it’s no wonder that oysters are such a holiday delicacy!
3 Oyster pairings to try
Looking for new ways to dress up your appetizers or hors d’oeuvres this holiday season? Then look no further because we’ve got three festive recipes to try that’ll make your oyster pairings the talk of the party. When it comes to pairing these briny bivalves’ green-cucumber, fruity-coconut, citrus and vegetal-mushroom scents, the potential ingredient combinations for oysters are simply endless!
Daikon-wrapped oysters with cucumber and bergamot
Served with a few citrusy drops of bergamot gel and a light drizzle of cucumber jus, these daikon-wrapped oysters are a refreshing alternative to the usual lemon wedge or mignonette pairing.
Oysters with lychee, rose and coconut crème
Lychee, coconut and rose petals may seem like an unlikely pairing for oysters on a half shell, but you’ll be surprised! Oysters contain citrus and vegetal-mushroom aroma molecules like we find in lychee, along with the same green, coconut-scented compounds contained in coconut milk, so give yours a drizzle.
Oysters with roasted eggplant purée and bergamot
Intrigue you guests with the luscious textures and contrasting aromas of raw oysters on a half shell served with roasted eggplant purée and bergamot. The citrusy scent of bergamot provides a refreshing, new ingredient twist to this oyster pairing that’ll leave your guests asking for more!