Frenchman invents lemony oysters in time for holidays

Above, a person shucks a So’ooh flavored oyster in Marennes, southwestern France. Seafood farmer Joffrey Dubault farms some 40 tons of the bivalves each year, and took him four years of hits and misses to perfect the flavored oyster. (AFP)
Updated 24 December 2017
0

Frenchman invents lemony oysters in time for holidays

MARENNES, France: A French seafood farmer is proposing lemon-flavored oysters this holiday season, a delicacy he perfected after four years of trial-and-error experiments in his garage.
Joffrey Dubault, 29, also offers oysters flavored with shallots, another perennial accompaniment usually served finely chopped and floating in vinegar.
“It was pretty discouraging at first when I had to throw out 90 percent,” the lanky oyster farmer says, a baseball cap shielding his blue eyes. “Now I have a 95-percent success rate.”
The process, which Dubault has patented, involves plunging the oysters into a tank of sea water laced with lemon extract for between two and 12 hours.
The oysters naturally pump the water through sieve-like gills, becoming impregnated with the flavor.
The technique may seem simple but “there are 16 steps to the process, and if any one of them isn’t done correctly the result is failure,” says Dubault, who farms some 40 tons of the bivalves each year off Marennes, France’s oyster capital on the west coast.
Dubault, who says he got the idea from customers at his market stall constantly asking him to throw in a lemon along with their purchase, began marketing the pre-flavored oysters in October and has found buyers from Belgium to Hong Kong.
He won recognition for his invention at a seafood trade fair in Brussels last April when he said Chinese visitors congratulated him, saying they had been attempting a similar feat for seven years.
The nod in Brussels encouraged Dubault to set up his company, called So’ooh, to market the novelty.
Targeting Asian clients, he has created a ginger version, while oysters flavored with muscatel, the sweet fortified wine, are aimed at the Italian palate.
Next year he plans to add grapefruit and mirabelle plum to his flavor menu, Dubault says, while truffle and pepper versions will follow for the next end-of-year holidays.
“People have asked me to add chocolate, but I say no way!” he exclaims.
Of all his customers, the French are the hardest to win over, he says, calling them “purists.”
But he is hopeful, having recently signed on with a major supermarket chain.
“People eat flavored yoghurts and drink flavored water, so why not oysters?” he asks.
Then there are his raspberry-flavored oysters, aimed at young people. It is a future-looking strategy, since the average age of oyster lovers “is fairly advanced,” he says.


The Six: Get cooking with these Middle Eastern-flavored cookbooks

Updated 21 October 2018
0

The Six: Get cooking with these Middle Eastern-flavored cookbooks

DUBAI: Whether you’re a tried-and-tested chef or a novice cook, try something new in the kitchen with these newly released, Middle Eastern-flavored cookbooks.
‘Together: Our Community Cookbook’
In September, Meghan Markle, Britain’s Duchess of Sussex, lent her backing to this charity cookbook that funds a community project set up by women seeking somewhere to cook in the wake of London’s Grenfell Tower fire.
‘Feasts from the Middle East’
The cookbook was created by Tony Kitous, the founder of successful UK-based Lebanese restaurant chain Comptoir Libanais, and features more than 100 recipes.
‘Baladi’
Joudie Kalla, the author behind “Palestine on a Plate,” is back with more tantalizing Palestinian recipes in the newly released cookbook.
‘The Mezze Cookbook’
From roasted cauliflower and tahini to pomegranate cakes, this book offers more than 135 recipes from across the Middle East.
‘Authentic Egyptian Cooking’
Abou El-Sid, one of Cairo’s most famous restaurants, presents more than 50 of its classic recipes in this treasure trove of a cookbook.
‘Suqar’
Ending on a sweet note, this recipe book, the title of which means sugar in Arabic, offers more than 100 desserts inspired by Middle Eastern classics, including puddings, pastries and everything in-between.