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Go Shuck, Yourself: 4 Oyster Knives Reviewed

Thursday, June 2, 2016


WHEN I WAS a kid, I loved going to work with my dad once or twice a year. Dad was a salesman and on the days we went into Boston for work, he’d bring me to a Faneuil Hall kiosk called The Walrus and The Carpenter for oysters. It had a big, wooden bar with brass foot rails, all crowned by an enormous display of oysters on ice. The whole thing served as an introduction to doing something good for yourself and the pleasures of a good, raw bivalve.

At home, we’d occasionally buy a dozen from Donahue’s Fish Market in Plaistow, New Hampshire, take them home and pry them open with a large, clear-handled Craftsman slot head screwdriver. It was a holy mess cracking those suckers open, but they were damn good.

I grew up to become both a food writer and knife fanatic, but for reasons still unclear to me, I never owned an oyster knife worth a hoot. Until very recently, my only oyster knife was a blue rubber and plexiglass number I picked up in a grocery store. The first time I used it, I knew that it’d eventually snap in half.
Now, at Seattle’s landmark restaurant, Westward, I meet Lucas Stone, one of the shuckers at the in-house oyster bar known as Little Gull and get a lesson in what to look for in a good oyster knife. Stone pulls out a wooden box of bar knives from a low shelf and finds a handful of oyster knives at the bottom. They’re all beefy, purpose-built tools with sturdy blades and ample-sized handles.

“Here’s my favorite,” he says.

Find out what Lucas’ favorite oyster knife is, along with three other great options, in my review for WIRED.

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