To the Editor: Regarding Frank Bruni’s article “Beckoned by Bivalves” (Nov. 18), about his pilgrimage to Prince Edward Island for oysters and mussels:
This spring my wife and I were traveling in Croatia and stayed in the town of Mali Ston at the entrance to the Peljesac Peninsula, which is the center for farming oysters and mussels. In the morning, we woke up to see a lone fisherman leave the secluded harbor and tie up at his antique trap, where he proceeded to pull up oysters and mussels suspended from strings.
I raced downstairs and met him at the dock. Would he give me a short boat ride so I could see what he was doing up close? For a small “favor,” he was willing to oblige, and I spent the next 30 minutes learning about the local methods of growing and harvesting both of these bivalves. As we were leaving his trap, he quickly opened two oysters for me, which I downed. Terrific, although I still maintain that the local wild oysters in Chatham, our home on Cape Cod, surpass anything I’ve tasted anywhere in the world.
The fisherman then used his small knife to expertly open a mussel, which I knew I couldn’t refuse. Eyes slightly closed, I swallowed it and smiled at my guide, but my stomach was already beginning to gurgle at my first raw mussel ever! I can’t really remember what the flavor was, but it definitely wasn’t a briny oyster!
When we got back to the dock, I thanked him, said goodbye, then raced for the dining room and what were many cups of strong coffee.
Norman Pacun Chatham, Mass.