Joshua Martin Remembering Oysters For Anthony Bourdain Because there is no way to speak eloquently about the eating of bull testicles (the rubbery spheres lodging in your throat, the taste of just-off chicken-fried steak hitting your tongue like a mallet), let us speak of community, of how a blue plate of “cowboy caviar” drenched in demi-glace brings together a family of ranchers in Canada, of how in Ecuador a handful of “huevos de toro” is downed with gulps of dust and beer while cousins laugh at the child forcing his first “crilliadia” into a mouth the size of a spigot. Food is power and politics, you said, and dined on fetal duck eggs with the Filipino poor on the clogged streets of Manila, each cracked “balut” opened to reveal a yoke sprinkled with a rain of salt, chili, and vinegar, each yoke yellow as the sun rising on the Filipino flag. And I’ll always remember what you said about your first oyster, how young you were to experience something so sexual: the oyster opened with the rust-covered fisherman’s knife, the shell propped wide to reveal flesh wrinkled and married to seawater, and how you flung your head back and let the silt-encrusted joy slide down your throat on that skiff in Lac Cazaux, the brine buoying your brain as you stood as a boy years away from bleeding in the dim kitchens of New York, a boy peering into the shallow black water, smiling mischievously as you reached in the darkness for another and another.
Crab Orchard Review
A special issue on one of our favorite topics: FOOD!