Mount Pleasant Magazine Nov/Dec 2023

36 www. ReadMPM. com | www.MountPl easantMagaz i ne. com | www.MountPl easantPodcas t . com Have you ever sipped a half dozen oysters from a shell-cradling platter at a fine restaurant? Delicious, right? There’s something about the experience as well — it’s just one of life’s great pleasures. However, it’s one that need not be fancy or budget-breaking every time. A good oyster roast, a staple of the Lowcountry’s winter season, will often scratch that itch. The concept itself is hardly new. Archeology teaches that Roman emperors like Julius Caesar, Caligula and Nero feasted on the tasty bivalves. During most of Western history, the rich and poor alike relished oysters. When the first colonists arrived in the New World, they discovered that the indigenous people were oyster aficionados as well. In the Lowcountry, oysters were plentiful, and open-air roasts were soon common. Some historians date the true tradition of organized roasts here to the early 1800s. Today—as it was then— the most attractive attributes of these roasts are that, for a modest fee, one can slurp as many oysters down as the stomach can handle. This is all while enjoying the camaraderie of eager fellow partakers. HOST YOUR OWN ROAST In these parts, it’s not hard to throw an oyster roast yourself. You’ll need a big sheet of steel, a slab of hardy plywood with a hole cut in the middle to toss in the shells, a few sawhorses, a fire, some wet towels and a shovel to move the steamed oysters onto your makeshift dining tables. If you’re thinking of organizing your own roast, consider contacting companies who do them professionally, Craving Oysters this Season? BY B I L L FARLEY Photos prov i ded by Boone Ha l l P l antat i on . Ways to Host and Attend the Lowcountry Pastime

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