Saturday, March 19, 2011
Counterfeit Oysters from Paris
How exactly are these faux oysters made? The American Druggist goes on to explain that the Frenchman uses "natural shells" which he fills with "certain substances" (what these are the article leaves unstated). The ersatz oysters were then "fastened together with isinglass and immersed in a liquor that speedily covers them with a thin silicate deposit." The article ends by informing readers that the sham oysters "are being sold freely in Paris, at a price greatly below that which is charged for Blue Points."
The clever oyster counterfeiting Frenchman took his secret to the grave. You can, however, make your own economical oyster dish by following this recipe from the 1888 seafood cookbook Oysters a la Mode, or The Oyster and Over 100 Ways of Cooking It.
Oysters and Bacon (A Breakfast Dish)
Fry up some mashed potatoes in bacon fat, and break them in pieces with a fork, and let them brown a little more; cut some thin rashers of bacon and arrange round the potatoes, which should be piled up in the middle of the dish. Broil some oysters in their shells with butter and cayenne, turn them out of their shells and place on the top of the potatoes; garnish with lemon snippets. Ham may be used instead of bacon.