My first food memory

Rosita Boland, feature writer

 Rosita Boland pictured on her third birthday with a whole lobster (and her You Are 3 badge)

Rosita Boland pictured on her third birthday with a whole lobster (and her You Are 3 badge)

Fri, Nov 1, 2013, 15:33

My first clear memory is of my third birthday, holding a tray with a dead red lobster on it, grinning to camera. I recognise that grin. I still make it, every time I see lobster on the menu, or crab or oysters; all shellfish I grew up eating in the west of Ireland as a child, and still love to eat.

But what I loved best then, and now, were oysters. I loved the ritual of the prehistoric-looking, seemingly impenetrable shells being levered open. Each oyster was as magical as any treasure chest in a fairy tale.

As a child, I watched my father – who may love oysters even more than me – squeeze lemon, tilt the shell and swallow. I did the same; savouring the briny marvellous weirdness that tasted so clean, so much like the quantities of ocean I swallowed when learning to swim, and so utterly satisfying.

Today, it is our favourite custom to do when out together; order a dozen oysters between us and talk. We’ve created a midden of oyster shells over a lifetime of conversations. I’ll never get enough of either.

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.