You gonna eat that?

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Friday morning update from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer here concerns red tide, not vibrio.

Out-of-town friend writes that he loved slurping half-shell oysters at The Brooklyn on a visit last week. But wait, aren't the oyster beds closed because of the dreaded vibrio parahaemoliticus outbreak?

The answer is yes and no. Says Kim Zabel-Lincoln of the state Dep't of Health, it's the worst outbreak they've seen, but it hasn't closed all the beds. Hood Canal, Dabob and Quilcene bays, Totten and Skookum inlets, yup, they're shut down. But plenty of others remain open. Best to check the official website because the rules are different for recreational and commercial oyster-harvesting.

At the Pike Place Market today, some vendors were selling only Oregon and BC oysters; others posted warning signs. Health Dep't thinks things will get better as the water temperature cools; vibrio bacteria don't like cold water...or, as we reported last month, white wine.

Shellfish warning sign.JPG Oysters for sale.JPG Mussels and Mashers at Bell St Diner.JPG

An alternative to oysters: mussels. The NY Times was extolling mussels grown off the west coast of France and phoned the chef at Maximilien in the Market--a native of La Rochelle, where they eat mussels like Seattle eats salmon--for a quote. We've enjoyed mussels at almost every café in or around the Market, as recently as lunch today at the Bell Street Diner: a reasonably French mouclade of steamed mussels in a light curry sauce over garlicky mashed potatoes. (Could have used a bit more saffron and a bit more salt, but, hey, $8.95; at Maximilien, the real mouclade is $15.)

Meantime, it's D-for-Duck-Liver-Day in Chicago, the day the ordnance against foie gras was supposed to go into effect. Did it? Hah! In the best tradition of Windy City speakeasies, restaurants served it anyway. Can imagine tomorrow's headline: "Duck Liver on the D-L."

2 Comments

I just realized, this is ARGUST. What do you know about Penn Cove oysters and mussels? It seems they are always available regardless of pink, blue, green, yellow, black and red tides.

Also, do you know who sells Green Lip mussels (from New Zealand?)?

Recommended wines for oysters and mussels?

The Penn Cove people are terrific ... a great website, too: http://www.penncoveshellfish.com/ Their mussels grow in the great swath of nutrients that come down from the Cascades through the Skagit Valley; no contaminants.

John Howie used to serve Green Lip mussels at SeaStar. Check it out ...

As for wines: longtime favorites in France are Chablis (chardonnay), Sancerre (sauvignon blanc) and Muscadet (melon de Bourgogne). Alsatian whites are good, too, because they're appropriately dry and crisp.

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This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on August 23, 2006 3:31 PM.

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