This series maps out our editors’ picks for Vancouver’s best and most legendary comfort foods. We encourage readers to steer us towards their favourites in the comments or by using the hashtag #ScoutYVR on social media.
Yesterday I spent a couple hours thinking and writing about oysters and how they might be ripe for a different approach by restaurants. By the time I’d finished the piece I was craving some freshly shucked oysters in the half-shell so badly that I left my desk and literally ran over to Fanny Bay Oyster Bar for a dozen Happy Hour kusshis served with a little horseradish, mignonette and crisp white wine. The experience reminded me of how the consumption of fresh oysters is such a singular pleasure. There really isn’t any other food trip like it. “Everything was different now. Everything.” was how Anthony Bourdain described the wake of his first slurp as a child, and I get it. Try as I might I have no sharp memory of my first oyster, but the effect on my psyche now whenever I tilt my head and tease an oyster from its shell with the tip of my tongue is wholly nostalgic, like a ballpark hot dog or the autumnal alchemy of turkey gravy stained red with cranberry sauce. I sometimes go many months without an oyster, but when a loaded shell finds its way to back to my fingers it’s a tingly thing, like standing on a precipice and looking down. My eyes widen. My heart tweaks. The oceanic taste that follows the act is one of adventure, of rebellion, of graduation, of indulgence — and then I get to do it eleven more times.