Shucking an Oyster

Opening raw oysters can be a daunting task, but if we can do it, so can you. (If the shell is gaping slightly before you open the oyster, tap it gently. If it closes, the oyster should be fine; if not, discard it.) Very cold oysters are easier to open. Put oyster flat side up on work area; wrap wide end in a dishcloth and hold that end with one hand. Hold oyster knife in other hand, blade parallel to oyster, and insert tip into hinge muscle just to one side of exposed point (1). Plunge in hard, wriggling and prying, then twist blade until muscle gives (2). Draw blade along top shell to separate flesh. Discard top shell. Cut flesh away from bottom shell (3).