Taste delicious oysters from Mali Ston Bay on March 28th at Stradun, Dubrovnik’s Main Street. The best option for good-tasting oysters has them fresh, with just a sprinkle of lemon, accompanied by Dalmatian ‘klapa’ songs.
The story of oysters, the shellfish with aphrodisiac properties, had 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 oyster’s 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. In the village of Mali Ston, St Joseph’s Day is celebrated with great solemnly, including the lectures on the oysters and other shellfish cultivation, but also gastronomic-wise such as the oyster specialities tasting. On Stradun, March 28th, shell growers from Mali Ston will offer to the visitors and tourists this culainary delicacy. Gastronomy knows two kinds of oysters according to their purpose: the shallow and deep ones. The shallow (shells) are valued most, but are rare and more expensive. The deep (shells) are cheaper and even grown in basins for short or log periods until they attain the required qualities. Our oysters from the Bay of Mali Ston belong to the shallow kind, and therefore the most valuable.
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. The oyster is particularly rich in proteins and vitamins. In Croatia, the oyster is mainly consumed fresh, on ice as a cold hors-d’oeuvre, 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.
The oyster is also used for delicious hot dishes, such as oyster soup, browned oysters, oyster fritters in yeast with champagne in various ways, oyster in various fine sauces, oyster risotto, fried or baked oysters in various ways, oyster puddings and brews, various oyster sauces..
The food served with oysters must be mild, unobtrusive, and must not change the positive characteristics and qualities of oysters. An excessive use of strong spices and sauces spoils the taste of oyster dishes, which is why one must be extremely careful.