My first (and last) gulf oyster

Above: You had me at hello… The oven-roasted gulf oysters at Cochon in New Orleans, in February 2009.

Reading The New York Times this morning as I munched my quesadilla (topped with “casera” salsa by Herdez, which, btw, you must look for in a can as opposed to jar, because it just tastes SO much better), I found myself entirely mesmerized by the “domino effect of lives touched” described in this article and I couldn’t help but remember my first gulf oyster (above), masticated in New Orleans not long after I moved to Texas, back in February 2009.

Will it be my last?

Above: Before the BP oil spill, it was common to serve endless raw gulf oysters at crawfish boils and other summer gatherings. This year, it’s not.

Gulf oysters are in short supply these days in the wake of the oil spill and subsequent catastrophe but I trust and hope they will rebound. Check out the Times article. It’s fascinating… My favorite passage:

    And yes, the captain eats oysters. Using a short knife, he pops the seal of a just-harvested oyster with safecracker élan, makes a cut, and slurps the wild goop down.

Buon weekend, ya’ll!

You had me at hello: Cajun-style oysters at Cochon in New Orleans

Above: You had me at hello… The oven-roasted gulf oysters at Cochon in New Orleans.

The food at Cochon in New Orleans last night was fantastic. The wood-fired-oven-roasted gulf oysters, sprinkled with Cayenne pepper, paired beautifully with a bottle of Charles Joguet 2007 Chinon Les Petites Roches. The vegetal notes in the wine were perfect for the spiciness that adorned the oysters and the chewy mouthfeel of the wine was wonderful with the sexy texture of oysters. Oysters and Chinon? Call me crazy but the pairing worked brilliantly.

Above: Moon River…. I’ve only traversed the great Mississippi river a few times in my life and its grandeur always impresses me. I’ve read Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn countless times, one of my favorite books.

I’ll be glad to get back home to Austin tonight but New Orleans is a blast — great folks, great food, great wine, great music, beautiful city — but the people down here are still hurting four years after the disaster. Nearly everyone I’ve come into contact with on a professional level has in some way referenced Katrina. Yesterday we visited the warehouse of a major distributor. The warehouse manager told me how he had to destroy everything he had in stock following the hurricane. “We know a lot about destroying bottles,” he said with a sigh. Today, they’re up and running but using a skeleton crew and bare-boned allocations.

If you are looking for a food and wine destination, check out New Orleans. The folks down here need our support and the food and wine scene is great…