trying oysters for the first time

I’m still going to tell you all about the Jennifer Garner event in L.A. from a few weeks back, but first, I have a story to tell.  *SIGH*

raw oysters

After the event we went back to the hotel {The W in Hollywood} to grab a bite of dinner in the hotel restaurant with my friend Jyl Pattee and and her family.  It was a pretty swanky, expensive place filled to bursting with Hollywood types; socialites, movie producers, Hollywood housewives.

We were eating along, just having normal food and fun conversation when Jyl suggested we try the oysters.  I mean, we were in California, right by the ocean, so it’s not like they could be that bad right?

raw oyster

Preocious was game, naturally.  She’ll eat anything once.  I decided if my 11-year-old could eat oysters without complaining, they couldn’t be so bad.

Right?  Riiiiiiight?

Precocious slurped hers down, said they weren’t too bad and that I needed to cowboy up and try one.


Deer in headlights?  Yep.


I had to psych myself up.  “You can do it!  You’ve had PICC lines, and three knee surgeries, and delivered two babies, you can do it!”


It was when Jyl told me to grab on with my teeth and tug that I started feeling really queasy.  Sick to my stomach.


The texture.  Oh the texture!  Oh, oy, um.  I just.  I can’t.  I can’t tell you.


Once my mouth was filled with slime and seawater I had to swallow, but man, it was terrible.  If I’d been at home I would have made a run for the kitchen sink, but I was trying to be a rational human being.  Brave, mature.


And then I started dry heaving.


And acting like Tom Hanks on Big.  You know where he tastes Caviar and wipes his tongue on the napkin?


It was all very civilized, ladylike, grown up.

This is me trying to be mature and try new things, be adventurous, not sit on the sidelines and watch people.

My motto for 2011 is: Do Hard Things.

I know trying oysters for the first time isn’t like my ancestors who, you know, walked across the frozen plains of America with bare bleeding feet, but man.

Oh boy.

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Hello there! I’m Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I’m super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we’re a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Esther :

    I think I’ll live vicariously through you. Based on those pictures I am just going to skip “try oysters” on my bucket list. Ick.

  2. Aimee :

    Ewww… there is no way I could be that brave. :) I know I would not be able to handle the texture of them, so I have never tried it. At least you can say you have done it, now when people ask you to eat them you have real knowledge on your side. LOL

  3. lorchick :

    I don’t find oysters that bad, but that’s how I feel about creamed corn. No matter how much anyone thinks their creamed corn is the magical creamed corn that will make me like creamed corn, I dig my heels in and refuse. Nobody wants to see me retching at the dinner table. ;)

  4. Jessica @ One Shiny Star :

    I avoid… most sea food. lol. It’s definitely a texture thing. I have recently started trying to eat fish… I still have to kind of gobble it down with out chewing. Oysters are now for me. oh well!

  5. Jill S. :

    I’m with you. Repulsive. They would only work as an aphrodisiac in my home if my husband was attracted to my head in the toilet.

  6. maile :

    You just confirmed that I’ve been right all these years to not try them. They look like snot in a shell to me. I think that’s the classy name for them.

  7. Tami Warner :

    You just so made my day! That is hilarious. I love the picture where you are holding it up smiling. You look terrified. I can only imagine what was going through your head at the time. You are a brave woman! In all my years of living in CA I never tried oysters like that. And after seeing this I won’t be trying them anytime soon! Plus can you imagine how old the oysters would be here in Utah? Ick.

  8. Stacey :

    When we lived in Napa my old job made me try oysters one day at lunch. It was my birthday lunch and they said I couldn’t have my meal until I tried an oyster. I loaded it up with cocktail sauce and I did it but it was a little touch and go there for a second when I almost lost it. They all had a good laugh and I can say I tried oysters. And I won’t be having them again. :)

  9. jyl johnson pattee :

    This is one of my proudest moments ever. 1) I got you out of your comfort zone. And look at the fun post you were able to create because of it. You’re welcome ;P. 2) I discovered I may actually not be a HORRIBLE photographer. Did I capture the moment or what? I feel like I’m back at that table again. 3) I did my oyster missionary service for the month, introducing friends to the truth of the best food out there. YUMMY!!!!!

    Seriously… what a fun night, right? Mani/pedis followed by dinner and this crack-me-up hilarious post!

    You rock! Let’s travel again soon. Escargot? Truffles? Corn with mayonnaise? I have so much more up my sleeve. But, I promise to NEVER make you try Holly Homer’s family Jell-O recipe. That would be going too far. I know what lines not to cross ;P.


    • Katrina Babic :


      You sound like a fun friend to have :)
      I need someone to kick me out of my comfort zone… hehe

  10. Carina :




    And yes, someday you will be a fan of oysters. I will be in charge of fixing your sad and slanderous view of this much aligned delicacy.

  11. Carina :

    (Seriously, raw is a little hard core for the first time oyster diner. Start with Oysters Rockefeller: oysters topped with breadcrumbs, bacon, spinach, parsley, garlic/shallots, sometimes cheese, and broiled.)

  12. Gina :

    ah yes…raw oysters. I 100% agree with Carina. Very hard core for your first time. Oysters Rockefeller is the way to go. Next time (if there is a next time) definitely try it. Some places also offer fried oysters but, I’m not into fried foods that much. I love how whoever was taking your pic really captured every feeling. :)

  13. Emily :

    Eew! I’ve never tried oysters (I don’t like most seafood due to texture) and I don’t think I will any time soon. ha. Love your striped top.

  14. Katrina Babic :

    seriously! Laughing out loud… I tried Calamari two years ago, and thought THAT was brave. YUCK!
    But on that note, I feel myself getting more daring in my old “er” age :) Went ice skating for my first time about a month ago. {I am 30-ish} Held on to the wall the whole time, BUT I did IT! I was beaming from ear to ear with pride.

  15. Peggy :

    Hilarious! I have never commented on anyone’s blog before but this was just the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. Probably because I know that if that was me, I would be gagging and retching for hours. I was there in spirit with you during every disgusting moment!

  16. Dina :

    Not gonna do it no way no how ever…at all…ever. But thanks for the giggle ;)

  17. Liz Lemon :

    I’m dying laughing!! You’re cute even when disgusted!

  18. jill :

    priceless photos! i love that you made a valid attempt. next time, save them for me…..YUM! of course, my very most favorite food in the world is nigiri sushi, so naturally, raw oysters aren’t much of a stretch. have a lovely weekend you cute little wackadoo!


  19. Natalie :

    That was…AWESOME!! (The pics and description, not your actual experience, of course!)

  20. Lori :

    You are braver than I. I would never put that in my mouth.

  21. Jen McDonald :

    I could never do it. Good for you for trying it. So, how did your daughter like them?

  22. Amy :

    your first experience was very similar to mine, except in my case it came right back out onto the shell. i’ve never lived it down.

    now I love oysters and have learned that I should have started out with the small ones because after trying the small ones with a little cocktail sauce I’ve changed my thinking. I can even enjoy the large ones.

    great photos though – wish mine had been captured.

  23. Heidi :

    I’m feeling a little queasy now. I don’t suppose a diet Dr. Pepper washed that down to well either!? Good times!

  24. Linda :

    This is too funny! I was right there with you. I couldn’t have been as brave as you.

  25. Nicole {Niche White} :

    I agree with you a bajillion percent – I just. can’t. do it. The sight alone of the texture makes me gag. But I applaud your courage and willingness to at least try it once!

  26. Rachelle :

    I’ve never tried oysters raw; not something I would even contemplate. However, here in New Zealand you can get them at the local fish and chip shop deep fried in batter; now those are yummy and don’t have to be choked down in one piece.

  27. Sarah :

  28. Marie :

    Naaaaaoooo! So funny. Those pictures, yuck. I’m dry heaving with you!!

  29. Anne :

    I love your daughter’s face in comparison to yours!

  30. Alicia W. :

    Hooray for new things! Good for you! First for trying, then for sharing the experience with all of us, especially because it wasn’t a good one. I am not a seafood gal myself. I have been introducing various cooked fish to my diet. Oysters are actually not on my list at all. Especially raw. Raw meat of any kind makes my tummy turn. :P

  31. Heather :


  32. Monica :

    Oysters on the half shell loaded up with lemon juice, fresh horseradish and cocktail sauce…Mmmm…my mouth is watering just thinking about it. One of my favorite things. I loved the pics and the reference to Big, definitely painted the picture. :)

  33. elissa, ebb & flow :

    hahaha i am with you! i don’t get the big fuss about these bad boys. awesome Big reference btw. i love that part and when he’s eating the baby corn! classic.

  34. Allison :

    Comon Mom!
    This is P.
    They aren’t that bad! In fact, with the lemon juice, they were good! The only part I didn’t like about it was having to rip the meat from the shell. I felt like I was invading the creatures territory!

  35. Kristen :

    I saw this title and thought you were going to give a tutorial, and I was all, um . . . NO. Allison, you’ve gone to far. I WILL NOT BE TRYING THIS.

    Because I’m pretty sure my reaction would have been the same. Blech.

  36. Jennifer :

    Oh, I quite enjoyed this Allison, thanks for being a sport and posting.
    My question for you is what is that nail polish are you wearing? I love it – even noticed it in spite of the great facial expressions!

    • Allison :

      Jennifer, it’s O.P.I. Linkin Park After Dark. My absolute new fave. I’d just barely gotten a manicure down the street from the hotel before we ate oysters!

  37. jeannett :

    died. i just died.

    hysterical. the photos are priceless. you should frame them all in a row. action shots you know. :)