Forkways #28: Oysters

The Bon Appetite podcast is one of the ways that I get exposed to new types of food and chefs. One thing that the podcast does really well is keep the level of information extremely introductory. This must be hard than it seems, because over time the podcast can't increase the entry point of understanding. At any moment someone could be listening to the podcast for the first time and they show does not want the listener to feel disadvantaged.

About a year ago, I listened to a podcast with author Stephanie Danler. Interestingly enough I didn't really like her, but aspects of her interview stuck with me through my continued research with food. I think we see the same phenomenon in cooking shows and especially cooking travel shows. And I talked about this nagging thought when I discussed my experience dining at Momofuku. Stephanie talks about how restaurant service workers are looking for the extreme aspects of life. So many people interested in food are looking for the extreme aspects of flavors.

Until you start tasting food in this exploratory way tasting food may be the byproduct of ingesting food.


Oysters are one of the great loves of the culinary world I don’t understand. Like a gummy clump of semen with a hint of something dying in the sea. Thought I am determined to give them another try, I enjoy my current hate and disgust of them. Maybe I spent too much time in the ocean as a child. I swallowed enough sea water to burn the memory of it into my dna. Maybe I have reached the point when eating an oyster would be a form a cannibalism.

I love the first two stanzas of the poem. It captures both something about food and life that the first poem did not manage for me. I really love the star allusions. The poem feels heavy handed to me but captured elements of writing about food.


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