The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell
4 journalers for this copy...
From the cover -
Award-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 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 insights - along with vintage 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 slum to Manhattan's Gilded Age dining chambers. With The Big Oyster, Mark Kurlansky serves up history at its most engrossing, entertaining, and delicious.
This book was very well-written, and easy to read and follow. Well-researched with lots of anecdotes about oysters in the 18th/19th centuries, and how they came to be enjoyed by everyone, rich and poor. I'm not an oyster lover (although for some strange reason, I love oyster dressing, I guess it's cause with the other poultry-type seasonings, they're not as noticeable), but I enjoyed this tale of the marine delicacies. As a resident of the Chesapeake Bay State, I found the maritime details of this tale very interesting. Never realized that New York used to be famous for their oysters, although I found it interesting that the watermen took Chesapeake Bay seed oysters to New York waterways to transplant them.
This book has really fit in well with some of my recent and upcoming reads. I recently read Nathaniel's Nutmeg which tells about Hudson's explorations of the river and bay named for him, and the Dutch settlement in New Amsterdam.
Upcoming books include Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, another tale from Kurlansky that I'm looking forward to, and The Sky's the Limit: Passion and Property in Manhattan which will be more about the modern New York City that we know.
This is reserved for my upcoming Biographies of Things bookbox.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
To the finder of this book:
Hello and congratulations! You have not only found yourself a good book, but a whole community of booklovers dedicated to sharing books with each other and the world at large. I hope you'll stick around a bit and get to know BookCrossing -- maybe even make a journal entry on this book. You may choose to remain anonymous or to join (it's free!) Feel free to read and keep this book, or to pass it on to a friend or even set it out "in the wild" for someone else to find like you did. If you do choose to join and journal, then you can watch the book as it travels - You'll be alerted by email each time someone makes another journal entry. It's all confidential (you're known only by your screen name and no one is ever given your e-mail address), free, and spam-free. Happy reading!