Viva Mollusca

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Looking at the website for the inaugural New Orleans Oyster Festival, there is no mention of oil, BP, boom, top kills or top hats. Nothing.

Its menu reads like a welcome mat to heaven. In the self-proclaimed "Oyster Capital of America," what else would you expect — there are raw oysters from Acme, oysters Louise from Court of Two Sisters, barbecue oyster po-boys from Redfish Grill, fried oysters from Lüke. P&J officiates a shucking competition. Acme even hosts an oyster-eating contest. In fact, there are more than one.

What world is this in? Surely, as the nation bows its head at the plight of its coastal neighbors — the fishermen, shrimpers and oystermen, we, and they, and their bounty, are endangered species, doomed by an oil warpath.

Dangerously untrue.

This is not a party going down with a sinking ship, or a last hurrah. This is a celebration of this year's crop — and though the party may have to supplement with some Florida stuff, it's a celebration no less. This is a moment for the surviving and the struggling to show what they do best, despite the odds. Screw national panic, and screw those refusing to support Louisiana seafood.

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