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The Essential Tool for Safe Shucks

Posted by Cook Culture on


I’m typing this column with two hands, which is the first clue that my inaugural oyster shucking experience didn’t end in carnage. In fact, it was quite the opposite, thanks to a handy little device that should be an essential in the drawer of any self-respecting West Coast oyster lover. 

The Swissmar Shucker Paddy was designed by Patrick McMurray, a fellow Canadian and the current Guinness World Record holder for shucking 38 oysters in one minute. It may well have taken me 38 minutes to shuck one oyster had I not YouTubed the proper technique (written instructions only take me so far). The “ergodynamic”, revolver-style handle design of the Shucker Paddy makes the necessary twisting action a lot less awkward, and for a small-handed person, lent a reassuring feeling of control over the situation.

Though I’m ashamed to say I sort of butchered the poor things once I got the shells open (still getting the hang of separating the muscle from the shell without shredding the whole creature), I managed to present a dozen gleaming half-shells to my dining companion before the ice melted and the brut lost its bubble.

I made my own mignonette - another first - freely adapted from a recipe I found on, with finely chopped shallots, white wine vinegar, sugar, sea salt and fresh basil with a healthy dose of cracked pepper. - Dee

(For more info on the Swissmar Shucker Paddy Universal Oyster Knife click here)

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