This story was originally written for my How-to column in Niagara Life magazine.
Jonathan Swift said it was a bold man who first ate an oyster.
It could be argued it was a bolder one who took on that prehistoric-looking shell, seemingly impenetrable when closed.
To the faint of heart, oysters can be tough to crack, and Mike Langley, owner of the Tide and Vine Oyster Co. has painful tales confirming it. The 2013 Canadian Oyster Shucking champ has suffered a few nicks on his way to becoming the fastest, cleanest shucker in the land. He’s also seen others suffer more serious gashes — even a broken ankle — in their quest for shucking glory.
Langley’s need for speed while prepping shellfish compelled him and partner Katrina Steeves to host Oyster Fest Niagara every June in Niagara Falls. But done at a slower pace, shucking an oyster doesn’t have to be a blood sport. It’s one of those life skills that’s handy when you want to treat yourself to the delicacy of a fresh, briny mollusk, dazzle friends, or if you find yourself hungry on a desert island.
We caught up with Langley to walk us through how to shuck an oyster like a champ.