The Edmond Sun


February 4, 2014

Frederick oysters pack a punch

EDMOND — Robb Walsh is a Houston food writer who has written extensively about that City’s various food cultures. He has recently authored a book about oysters that is titled “Sex, Death, and Oysters, a Half Shell Lover’s World Tour.”  

In that work he details how oysters have been enjoyed by historical figures such as the Roman Emperor Nero, the French King Louis XIV and have been referenced in literature for centuries.   

Walsh writes of how oysters have been eaten in what is now the American gulf south region for thousands of years and plays an important role in the culinary and cultural traditions in the coastal areas of Louisiana, Maryland and Texas today.   

The author also takes us on a tour of oyster festivals that are held in England and Ireland and writes about the diverse people he encountered at those events who share a love of oysters.   

It is unfortunate that Walsh did not attend the oyster festival that is held in Frederick on an annual basis. For while that gathering may not be as large as the ones that Walsh wrote about, he would find a fondness for oysters there that is comparable to what he discovered at the festivals he attended.    

The Frederick event, which will be held on the afternoon of Feb. 22 this year, brings bus loads of people to Frederick, which is the county seat of Tillman County. From throughout Oklahoma and north Texas, people partake of raw and fried oysters, cole slaw and soft drinks.   

Walsh made several trips to New Orleans while doing research for his book and he details what is known as “Oysters Rockefeller” came into existence in Antoine’s Restaurant in that city in 1939 when a chef prepared a dish of fried oysters that were so rich that it was given the name of the wealthiest man in America at that time.  

While the fried oysters served at the Frederick event have not resulted in a dish for “Oysters Gates,” the taste and flavor has gained them a devoted following  of people who come to the festival every year to devour them. In addition to  a fondness for oysters, those attendees may have also developed an affection for the warm and courteous people of Frederick and Tillman County.

According to Haley Hoover of the Frederick Chamber of Commerce, the Frederick Oyster Fry and Festival grew out of a tradition started in the neighboring town of Manitou in 1952 when a resident of that community  brought a sack of oysters with him when he returned from a visit to the Texas gulf coast. He shared them with his friends and neighbors and at their urging, he purchased another sack of oysters the following year. It soon became an annual event, but it eventually grew too large for the small municipality of Manitou.

 In 1990, the festival was officially moved to Frederick. Attendance has grown every year since that time and the event now includes an all-day arts and craft show that features artists of various backgrounds from Oklahoma and Texas.

Robb Walsh has written extensively about the Hispanic culinary traditions that have been brought to the Houston area in recent years and he includes in his book  a recipe for “oyster nachos.” Many of the Hispanics who now reside in the Frederick area attend the festival and Spanish is now frequently heard at the gathering.

As Walsh’s title suggests, he documents how oysters have been considered an aphrodisiac throughout history, but he concludes that there is no scientific basis for that assertion. But the locals in Frederick who have watched couples leaving the event for more than two decades with smiling faces after consuming oysters may have reason to question Walsh’s conclusion in that regard.

William F. O’Brien is an Oklahoma City attorney.

Text Only
  • Bangladesh’s sweatshops — a boycott is not the answer

    One year ago this week, the eight-story Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh’s capital city of Dhaka, killing 1,129 people. The building’s top floors had been added illegally, and their weight caused the lower stories to buckle. Many of the victims were young women who had been sewing low-priced clothes for Western brands, earning a minimum wage of about $9 a week. It was the worst disaster in garment industry history.

    April 24, 2014

  • Loosening constraints on campaign donations and spending doesn’t destroy democracy

    Campaign finance reformers are worried about the future. They contend that two Supreme Court rulings — the McCutcheon decision in March and the 2010 Citizens United decision — will magnify inequality in U.S. politics.
    In both cases, the court majority relaxed constraints on how money can be spent on or donated to political campaigns. By allowing more private money to flow to campaigns, the critics maintain, the court has allowed the rich an unfair advantage in shaping political outcomes and made “one dollar, one vote” (in one formulation) the measure of our corrupted democracy.
    This argument misses the mark for at least four reasons.

    April 23, 2014

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 23, 2014

  • Free trade on steroids: The threat of the Trans-Pacific Partnership

    Many supporters of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, trade agreement are arguing that its fate rests on President Obama’s bilateral talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan this week. If Japan and the United States can sort out market access issues for agriculture and automobiles, the wisdom goes, this huge deal — in effect, a North American Free Trade Agreement on steroids — can at last be concluded.

    April 22, 2014

  • Can Hillary Clinton rock the cradle and the world?

    What's most interesting to contemplate is the effect becoming a grandmother will have on Hillary's ambition. It's one of life's unfairnesses that a woman's peak career years often coincide with her peak childbearing years.

    April 22, 2014

  • Chicago Tribune: If Walgreen Co. moves its HQ to Europe, blame Washington’s tax failure

    The Walgreen Co. drugstore chain got its start nearly a century ago in downstate Dixon, Ill., before moving its corporate headquarters to Chicago and eventually to north suburban Deerfield, Ill.
    Next stop? Could be Bern, Switzerland.
    A group of shareholders reportedly is pressuring the giant retail chain for a move to the land of cuckoo clocks. The reason: lower taxes. Much lower taxes.
    If Walgreen changes its legal domicile to Switzerland, where it recently acquired a stake in European drugstore chain Alliance Boots, the company could save big bucks on its corporate income-tax bill. The effective U.S. income-tax rate for Walgreen, according to analysts at Swiss Bank UBS: 37 percent. For Alliance Boots: about 20 percent.

    April 21, 2014

  • Sulphur a future major tourist destination?

    Greta Garbo says, “I want to be alone,” in the 1932 film “Grand Hotel.” That MGM film starred Garbo, John and Lionel Barrymore, Wallace Beery and a young actress from Lawton named Joan Crawford. It told the stories of several different people who were staying at an exclusive hotel of that name in Berlin Germany.
    It was critically well received and it inspired more recent films such as “Gosford Park” and television shows such as “Downton Abbey” in that it detailed the relationship between powerful and wealthy people and those who served them. The film opened amidst much fanfare and it received the Oscar for best picture in the year of its release.

    April 21, 2014

  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Why poverty across the world matters to Americans

    A child starving in South Sudan should matter to Americans. That was the message delivered last week by Nancy Lindborg, whose job at the U.S. Agency for International Development is to lead a federal bureau spreading democracy and humanitarian assistance across the world.
    That world has reached a critical danger zone, with three high-level crises combining military conflict with humanitarian catastrophes affecting millions of innocents in Syria, the South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
    But back to that child.

    April 18, 2014

  • Government leadership complicit in overfilling prisons

    One of the thorniest problems facing any society is the question of what to do with transgressors. Obviously, the more complicated a culture becomes, the more factors come into play in trying to figure out what to do with those who choose not to “play by the rules.”

    April 18, 2014

  • My best days are ones normal people take for granted

    It is a weekend for working around the house. My fiancee, Erin, and I have the baby’s room to paint and some IKEA furniture to assemble. I roll out of bed early — 10:30 — and get into my wheelchair. Erin is already making coffee in the kitchen.
    “I started the first wall,” she says. “I love that gray.” Erin never bugs me about sleeping late. For a few months after I was injured in the Boston Marathon bombings, I often slept 15 hours a day. The doctors said my body needed to heal. It must still be healing because I hardly ever see 8 a.m. anymore.

    April 18, 2014


Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

     View Results