Why You Should Add A Dash Of Lemon Juice To Fresh Oysters

Sometimes, the simplest option is one of the best. That is certainly the case for oysters. Though there are many variations for how to prepare oysters, both fresh and cooked, you can't go wrong with just a classic twist of lemon juice into the shell.

Lemon juice is a flavor enhancer — this means that it brings out the different flavors of the food it is added to and makes them more prominent. In the case of the fresh oyster, that taste is the briny, fresh, sea salt flavor that oyster lovers cherish. Besides bringing out the flavor of the oyster, the other benefit of lemon juice is its simplicity. With fresh oysters, you don't want to mask the flavor of the meat, and with more complex preparations, you sometimes run the risk of doing that. Lemon juice is an easy way to amplify the flavor of the oyster, without compromising the taste of the "merroir" — the water profile of the place where the oyster is grown.

How to use lemon juice on fresh oysters

Serving lemon juice with fresh oysters only takes a few steps. First, you need to shuck the oysters. This can look intimidating, but there are a few steps you can follow to make it more intuitive. Display your oysters on the half shell, then wash and slice a lemon into wedges. Serve the oysters with the unsqueezed lemon wedge so that you can squeeze in the desired amount of lemon right before each slurp. Just be careful when you squeeze — you don't want to get any of the bitter seeds in your bite.

Lemon juice will also combine well with other flavors in the oyster shell, without getting too much more complicated. Feel free to add a dash of hot sauce like Tabasco to each oyster. Finely chopped fresh herbs are also a pleasant addition to a simple but delicious fresh oyster.