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Greek oysters are first mentioned in the Iliad, when Patroclus kills Cebriones, Hector’s charioteer, with a well aimed rock to the skull, then mockingly admires his headlong fall, saying if he could dive like that from a chariot onto the land, he could dive for oysters in stormy weather and bring up enough of them for a satisfactory feast.

Minutes later, Hector runs a spear through his stomach and so much for him.

Oysters are mentioned by the ancients as the 'truffles of the sea'. Aristotle studied them in Kalloni Bay on Lesvos, and not seeing them mate, wrote that they spontaneously grew out of the mud.

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by Michele M.F.