Love longer or not, Louisiana oysters taste the best!

I don’t remember when I didn’t love oysters.

My earliest recollection: I remember my grandfather presiding over a family outing at Fitzgerald’s Restaurant on the lakefront in New Orleans and me (as a child, maybe 6 or 7?) ordering fried oysters.

Growing up, Nathan’s Bar and Sandwich Shop in my home town of Covington made the best oyster po’ boys I’ve ever tasted.

On school field trips to New Orleans in high school, we’d always eat at an oyster bar on Royal Street–I can’t remember the place’s name, and it’s not there today.  But I remember those oysters.

As a young admissions counselor on a recruiting trip at South Lafourch High School around 1977, a high school student called her father when she found out I liked oysters: When I went to the parking lot to leave the school, her father met me with a sack of oysters-in-the-shell fresh off the boat.  I drove northward to Covington to get Daddy to help me shuck that batch.  That “oyster shuckin'” was my first experience with eating oysters off the half-shell (and they were good!).

In early years of married life, a local Cajun lady named “Tiny” had a husband who worked along the coast, probably in the oilfield.  He would harvest oysters, bring them back to Eunice, and shuck them so Tiny could sell them: They were excellent!

And so on and so forth.  The point is that I’ve loved oysters as long as I remember, and as a Louisianian, I consider this culinary treat part of my heritage.

So what’s going on with the BP oil spill and the oysters?  No good news, apparently.  The piece CNN showed this evening reveals that the oysters are dying (ironically, not from the oil but from the fresh water diverted from the Mississippi River to keep the oil off shore).  That was a painful report for me, particularly because the indication is that years may be required for the oysters to recover from the damage.

I can’t imagine an oyster po’boy-less existence. I don’t even want to think about the possibility.

For me, the battle cry: “Fried oysters forever,” and the immoral BP be damned for the destruction done to our cuisine!

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