If the oyster is an instrument of seduction then we Australians really need to work on our technique. Less than 10 per cent of all oysters we consume annually are opened fresh; the rest are served dead, rinsed of all personality and wilting on a half-shell. Hardly the stuff of romance.
We should, instead, be shucking our own, understanding regional differences, and even, eventually, identifying the unique characteristics of each – much the same as we do now with wines.
That may sound farfetched, but industry experts are confident it won't be long before the average Australian can identify the rich, creamy, seaweedy notes of a Tasmanian Pacific from the saltier, higher-iodine offerings of South Australia's west coast.