Now that Fanny Bay Oysters has opened up a shop in downtown Vancouver, we better start practising.
Even if you're not entering some sort of time-based competition, deftness in the shucking department is a virtue—and doing so without redistributing tooth-cracking shards of shell? Even more so. Vancouver Island's Fanny Bay Oysters has just opened up a tide-to-table restaurant, complete with 16-seat oyster bar, downtown near BC Place (762 Cambie St.) and to celebrate the launch they threw an oyster shucking party where we got a few pro tips on how to make fast work of those bivalves at home. General Manager Issac Martin del Campo (and Fanny Bay's resident oyster expert) tells us how it's done: The best blade for the job? A legit oyster knife (this one via Williams-Sonoma Step 1. Make sure the tip of your shucking knife is thin and sharp. Step 2. Insert your knife into the hinge side of the oyster (the back, or "fatter" side). Step 3. Give your knife a wiggle while gently pushing it into the shell like you would a stiff key. Only about a quarter-inch of the tip of your knife should go inside the shell. Step 4. Once inside, you should feel the tip of your knife scrape the top underside of the shell. Try to keep it as flush as possible to avoid cutting into the belly of the oyster. Step 5. Although people often sever the lower adductor muscle with their blade at this point, I prefer to gently push it until it disconnects to avoid accidentally cutting oyster meat. Step 6. Serve fresh and keep flat to prevent the precious juices from spilling out, and top with sauces of your choice.
Want to see that action live? Here's a video clip from the Fanny Bay Oysters party: