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Oyster lovers love Texel because they can fish for oysters themselves there, on the biggest of the Wadden Islands. Visitors to the island can enjoy fishing for and eating the Japanese oyster, also known as the ‘creuse’.
Large oyster beds can be found in three places on the island: in the Mokbaai, along the Waddendijk and near the Cocksdorp. In the Netherlands, you are allowed to catch up to 10 kilos of shellfish, provided they are for your own use. The best months of the year to do this are the ones with the letter 'r' in them. The ideal time? Low tide. For more information about the tides, see the tide table for Texel. Although you could decide to set out and fish for oysters yourself, you might find it even more fun to sign up for a trip organised by the Texel Oyster Man!
Oysters contain vitamins B12, B3 and D are also rich in magnesium and zinc. Both help stimulate our metabolism. The high level of zinc in oysters protects us against colds, helps wounds heal, promotes healthy bones, makes our hair look great and improves our memory too. Oysters are a low-calorie delicacy and easy to digest.
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova was an 18th century adventurer from Venice. Today, Casanova is remembered most for his womanising. He lived to the age of 73 and, according to his (6,000-page!) memoirs, he 'loved' a different woman every day… What you might not know is that Casanova loved oysters too. He said that they were food for the mind, senses and love and ate 50 of them every day! The reputation of oysters as a powerful aphrodisiac is thanks in part to Casanova.
Have you been out fishing and come back with some delicious oysters? Well, now the time has come to eat them. Although it's quite difficult to open oysters initially, practice really does make perfect. It's a piece of cake once you know how. This is the best way to open an oyster:
1. Grab hold
Place the oyster in a tea towel that you have folded in half, making sure that the flat part of the shell is facing upwards.
Insert a strong knife (or special oyster knife) into the joint between the two halves of the shell. Carefully edge the knife into the shell, opening it with a short turning motion.
Now separate the two halves of the shell by cutting them in two. Make sure that you keep the oyster straight so that you avoiding spilling any oyster liquor on yourself.
Remove any grit. Sprinkle the oyster with some lemon juice, put your head back and enjoy!
If you fancy eating oysters, but would prefer to have them opened and served by a professional, you'll be pleased to know that oysters are on the menu in a number of restaurants. Het Pakhuus is just one. Alternatively, why not come along to the HavenVIStijn in Oudeschild? It's organised every second Saturday in the month of August. What started in 2005 as a small music festival, organised by Café De Kombuis, is the popular havenVIStijn today. Visitors to the event can enjoy a day full of music, fun activities and, of course, the very best and tastiest fish!