The French poet Léon-Paul Fargue (1876-1947) wrote: "I love oysters. It's like kissing the sea on the lips." I learned to love that ‘kiss’ at an early age. However, in order to maximize that pleasure, one must savor fresh raw oysters “on the half-shell” (as we call them in the US). And, in order to do that, one needs a good oyster knife, to open the oysters soon before consuming them directly from the shell. There are several traditional accompaniments, but the unadorned flavor of a fresh raw oyster - that “kiss of the sea” - is one of life’s great gastronomic pleasures.
But first you need a good oyster knife; there are various models to choose from. I learned to ‘shuck’ using a traditional “Chesapeake Stabber”: an awl-like wood-handled model with a straight (sometimes-sharpened) carbon steel blade that I acquired long ago at the St. Mary’s County (MD) Annual Oyster Festival and Shucking Contest (I was NOT a contestant!). So I learned to shuck “East Coast” oysters, but now live and love “West Coast” varietals, so I have come to very much appreciate the functional advantages of the design details in the modified French-style oyster knife from Trudeau.
In contrast to my old “Stabber”, and very much in contrast to the more aggressive “Boston” or “Gulf Coast” versions, the Trudeau Maison Oyster Knife features a somewhat longer handle 3½” silicone handle that is semi-soft and comfortable to use, with the requisite pressure for shucking. There also is a firm silicone “cross-guard” that both protects your fingers from the sharp edges of oyster shells when you push too hard, and adds leverage from your thumb and forefinger when inserting the blade into the often-barely-visible seam of the shell. The 2⅝”/6.5cm 18/8 stainless steel blade is tapered on both edges - but not too sharp - curving on both edges and slightly upward tapering to a sharp point, for accurate placement of the blade into the shell. The curve is another important design detail: after opening the shell with the point upwards, you can turn over the blade - now point downward - to maximize cutting the muscle cleanly from the top shell, in order to minimize waste, of both the oyster flesh and the “sea water” inside the shell. Both sides of the blade are “cutting edges” so this oyster knife can be effective in both directions, for both left and right-handed users.
In short, the Trudeau Maison Oyster Knife is a very Cool Tool: a well-designed, exceptionally functional tool, intended to maximize your enjoyment of one of nature’s great pleasures … best served, of course, with a cool, crisp Rose wine …;-]
- Overall length 6⅜”/16cm
- Handle width(at widest point): 1⅜“/3.5cm
- Cross-guard width: 1¾”/4.5cm
- Silicone handle
- 18/8 Stainless Steel Blade
- Dishwasher safe
- Manufacturer’s Lifetime Warranty