The oyster has found a sweet niche in an array of regional cuisines. With so many tantalizing ways to enjoy the beloved bivalve, it's an education everyone can enjoy. (Serves 4-5)
Oysters with Mignonette Ice
Oyster Pan Roast
Fried Oysters with Pearl Tartar Sauce
Pearl Tartar Sauce
Oyster Beignets
Caper Dipping Sauce
Oyster Shooter with Cucumber Sauce
Oyster Sauté in Asian Sauce
Credit: Howard L. Puckett

Knowledge of oysters and their cultural sources has become a status symbol, akin to an understanding of fine cognacs or Cuban cigars. Despite the trend toward more sophisticated cooking techniques, there remains a strong predisposition for the simplest of oyster dishes: the invertebrate unadorned, on the half shell.