The story of oysters, the shellfish with aphrodisiac properties, has been known from ancient times, when the Dubrovnik Republic aristocrats savoured them at their renaissance feasts. Austrian emperors were also familiar with the legend of the oysters magical properties and it was often included in their menus. We are talking about the oysters cultivated in the Bay of Mali Ston, the part of the Dubrovnik region, whose sea is considered to be the cleanest and clearest in the world.
Oysters are fullest and most delicious in March, when St Josephs Day is celebrated. Gastro experts claim that oysters are best served freshly opened with some lemon juice.
You will have the opportunity to taste the freshly opened oysters smelling of the sea from 19 to 22 March 2009 at the restaurants in Dubrovnik and Ston. The Festival of Oysters is a gastro event which offers oysters and oyster dishes (oyster soup, oyster fritters, roasted oysters, fried or baked oysters in various ways) along with the Dalmatian song and a glass of good wine.
The flesh of a fresh oyster is grey-white, solid but soft, with a pleasant sea smell. An oyster fit for consumption must be cold, fresh, medium-size, tender, juicy and have a good taste. When exposed to heat, (in warm dishes) the oyster looses its natural taste and smell, yet the organoleptic properties of the dish take over that role completing and enriching the entire dish.
We mainly consume the oyster fresh, on ice as cold hors-doeuvre, i.e. as an introductory dish in a gastronomically well-composed menu. As a cold dish it can be served as a cocktail, oyster salad, various oyster mignons, oysters in fish jelly, canape sandwiches, etc.