All part of friendly international relations. 

By Elisabeth Sherman
April 28, 2017
Tim Graham / Contributor / Getty Images 

Earlier today the New York Times reported on some astonishing cross-cultural food news: China offered to eat Denmark’s current oyster infestation into oblivion. 

It all started last week, when the Danish embassy in Beijing shared a report that an invasive species of mollusks called Pacific oysters are making themselves at home along the Scandinavian coast, choking the shore and seriously annoying their Danish hosts. 

In a video posted to Weibo, the most popular social network in China, the embassy jokingly asked viewers, “Visit the Danish coast to eat fresh oysters, is it a date?”

There was probably a dash of truth behind the Danes’ facetious pleas, which Chinese viewers seemed to pick up on – as of today the post has more than 15,000 comments. Since they uploaded the video the embassy has been flooded by messages from hungry Chinese people who took their words seriously, offering to help with the problem by eating the encroaching oysters, but there were some cheeky comments too. 

“Introduce oyster-eater visas, 10 years unlimited re-entry,” one person quipped. “I’d bet that these oysters would be exterminated in about five years.”

“I solemnly swear to join the Danish Oyster-Resistance Volunteer Army,” said another. “I will dedicate my tongue and taste buds to Sino-Danish friendship until these oyster invaders are vanquished.”

The Danes seemed to enjoy the repartee, posting another message in which they graciously told their Chinese friends, “The beaches of Denmark await you,” even suggesting that Denmark could export the oysters to China. 

But why leave it up to China alone to relieve Denmark of their plight? In a show of international diplomacy perhaps everyone should take a trip to these oyster-rich beaches and do their part to preserve Scandinavia’s shorelines, one slurp at a time. The embassy reassured inquiry minds that the oysters are safe to eat – so grab your lemons and mignonette. We’ll meet you there.