Bathed in a warm sea of serum, row upon row of miniature bioreactors nurture small morsels of flesh. Twice a day the nutrient rich tide recedes, triggering the muscles to contract and clamp the hinged halves of their bioreactors tightly shut. It this daily cycle that gives in vitro oysters their much-lauded texture.
When the muscle has fully grown, the in vitro oysters are pried from their electrical connections and shipped to lab-food markets and high-end restaurants. Connoisseurs may become adept at picking out the terroir of each lab, from the briny metal overtones of Atlantic serum to the sweeter, more rounded flavor from Pacific facilities. As ocean-based oyster beds have all but vanished, in vitro oysters may prove an exquisite alternative.
12 unopened in vitro oysters
1 shallot, minced
120 milliliters white wine
115 grams unsalted butter, divided in eight pieces
1 teaspoon each chopped chervil, chives and parsley
1. Preheat a grill. Simmer the shallot and wine in a small saucepan over medium heat until the wine has reduced by half.
2. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the butter piece by piece, whisking to combine. Stir in the herbs.
3. Grill the oysters until the bioreactor just opens, three to five minutes. Carefully pry away the top half of the bioreactor, taking care not to spill any of the serum inside. Cut the muscle to separate it from the bioreactor’s lower half. Arrange the oysters on a platter. Spoon a portion of the sauce over each oyster and serve immediately.
From The In Vitro Meat Cookbook: 45 lab grown meat dishes you cannot cook yet.