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Fresh Oysters with a side of Barley with Mushrooms and Artichokes

An exciting dish for a refined Romantic dinner.

Oysters are generally taught to be an aphrodisiac - one of the most well known foods believed to have such properties. Will I burst your bubble if I tell you that this isn't true?

Scientifically speaking, these are very little foods and almost none of the common foods we eat in North America and Europe - that have been proven to have such properties. Furthermore, even among the rare foods that are shown to exhibit such properties, none of them seem to work on women. But wait!

Romance and a romantic dinner are not about finding that magic food that will drive the other one mad with love and lust. Organizing a beautiful evening together, dressing up for the occasion, having a conversation between the two of you and looking into each other's eyes when you speak, eating or drinking something new to remember the day - all those things will make a Romantic dinner magical. Yes, especially for a woman. So stop looking for the magic potion - the magic potion is you.

There's a reason why this significant other in your life wants to spend this evening with you. Be confident! There's nothing sexier than confidence!

Now back to our oysters...

We have never had fresh oysters before, so we had to research everything from buying to shucking, to eating them. Luckily, a lot of resources can be found in videos online.

To make sure we're getting the best experience possible, we bough the freshest oysters we could find. This works well when it comes to taste, but also for food safety.

You will need to wash your oyster thoroughly. A brush can do a very good job for this task and you may be surprised how the color of the shells changes after a good scrub.

For shucking, it is recommended that the first time you do it a special shucking knife be used. Depending on the provenience of the oysters, shorter or longer knifes should be used. Here's a short YouTube video explaining this process. The same video recommends buying East Cost oysters the first time you want to do this - as they are easier to open. We got PEI oysters.

Now for eating the oysters... We ended up trying our oysters plain, then with a bit of lemon juice and then with a touch of hot sauce on top. Once again, here's a quick video about oyster eating - that I found to be quite useful.

If you really don't like your oysters fresh - or the process of opening them up, you can cook them on a baking sheet or simply boil them. They will firm up inside and the shells will open on their own. Firming them up slightly without coking them is also another option - see video here for more details.

This recipe is part of the 2020 - Week 43 Menu - Romantic Dinners. Look under Menus for the other recipes of the series or Subscribe to our mailing list and receive complete weekly menu ideas with everything from the grocery shopping list to all standardized recipes in a menu, as well as an organized Order of Cooking list to save you time in the kitchen.

Download the recipe here:

Fresh Oysters with a side of Barley with
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