It is said that oysters are aphrodisiacs. I don't know if I buy that claim, but I do know that they make me pretty happy. There's just something about the briny taste topped with a little minuet or cocktail sauce. Yummo.
photo courtesy of mpieracci on flickr
Bon Appetit magazine did a little feature in their February issue to break down the differences between the taste subtleties between different regions of origin. And what's great about oysters is that North America produces the best that you can get anywhere. I think Bon Apetit's feature is a great basic guideline to take away your fear of choosing the "wrong" kind for a special night out. Here are the basics:
West Coast - tend to be smaller, sweeter, and creamier.
East Coast - more briny but varying in size from small to quite large.
Gulf Coast - best enjoyed cooked (think Rockefeller or in a po'boy)
So for your special Valentine's dinner, consider picking some up from your local seafood purveyor or ordering them at dinner. Who knows...maybe they really are aphrodisiacs...