The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell
“Part treatise, part miscellany, unfailingly entertaining.”–The New York Times “A small pearl of a book . . . a great tale of the growth of a modern city as seen through the rise and fall of the lowly oyster.”–Rocky Mountain NewsAward-winning author Mark Kurlansky tells the remarkable story of... show more
“Part treatise, part miscellany, unfailingly entertaining.”–The New York Times “A small pearl of a book . . . a great tale of the growth of a modern city as seen through the rise and fall of the lowly oyster.”–Rocky Mountain NewsAward-winning author Mark Kurlansky tells the remarkable story of New York by following the trajectory of one of its most fascinating inhabitants–the oyster.For centuries New York was famous for this particular shellfish, which until the early 1900s played such a dominant a role in the city’s life that the abundant bivalves were Gotham’s most celebrated export, a staple food for all classes, and a natural filtration system for the city’s congested waterways.Filled with cultural, historical, and culinary insight–along with historic recipes, maps, drawings, and photos–this dynamic narrative sweeps readers from the seventeenth-century founding of New York to the death of its oyster beds and the rise of America’s environmentalist movement, from the oyster cellars of the rough-and-tumble Five Points slums to Manhattan’s Gilded Age dining chambers. With The Big Oyster, Mark Kurlansky serves up history at its most engrossing, entertaining, and delicious.“Suffused with [Kurlansky’s] pleasure in exploring the city across ground that hasn’t already been covered with other writers’ footprints.”–Los Angeles Times Book Review“Fascinating stuff . . . [Kurlansky] has a keen eye for odd facts and natural detail.”–The Wall Street Journal“Kurlansky packs his breezy book with terrific anecdotes.” –Entertainment Weekly“Magnificent . . . a towering accomplishment.”–Associated Press
Publish date: January 9th 2007
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Pages no: 336
Edition language: English
Kurlansky examines the history of New York City through the lens of the oyster. That's right, New York used to have oysters - and delicious oysters at that! There's a bit of biology, but mostly it's the economics and the social history of what was a staple food here for both the rich and the poor. Y...
I didn't know that NYC was at one time The Big Oyster instead of the Big Apple. The Hudson River estuary had an abundance of oysters, so much so that it was a leader in oyster production, exporting them around the world. This book weaves the history of the NYC metropolitan area and oysters. Unfor...