Oysters have a strong, rich and distinctive flavour and a soft, silky texture. They are often served raw, but deep frying, shallow frying and grilling are also popular. Pacific oysters are particularly good in pies. The key to not overcooking oysters is to ensure that cooking stops as soon as the edges of the meat start to curl.Raw or “au naturel” oyster can create precious portions such as:• with lemon juice and cracked pepper;• topped with tabasco sauce, tomato, garlic and cream;• in the famous “Bloody Mary”—tomato juice spiced with vodka;• swimming in a sauce of lime, ginger and shallots. Grilled oysters can be tantalisingly topped with:• the traditional Kilpatrick;• fresh herbs and breadcrumbs; or• balsamic vinegar and roasted capsicum.Deep fried oysters in batter can be served with basil, aioli or spicy soy dressings (an appetising additive to warm salads).Alternatively, try blending oysters with béchamel and serve in bread or pastry cups for hors d’oeuvres, or include them in soups and bisques. Bottled oysters can be used in cooked dishes such as soups, terrines and braised dishes.