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A Geography of Oysters

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  210 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
In this passionate, playful, and indispensable guide, oyster aficionado Rowan Jacobsen takes readers on a delectable tour of the oysters of North America. Region by region, he describes each oyster's appearance, flavor, origin, and availability, as well as explaining how oysters grow, how to shuck them without losing a finger, how to pair them with wine (not to mention bee ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published September 4th 2007)
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Aug 18, 2008 Valerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking
A Geography of Oysters is a beautiful book about one of my favorite foods. I first heard of it when it won a James Beard award in the food reference category.

Jacobsen goes into the history of the oyster, as well as providing a guide and comments on the 132 most frequently encountered varieties. There's also a Q & A as well as a few recipes in the back.

An interesting point that he brought up is that everyone remembers their first oyster. Mine was at a party on a Cape Cod beach when I was thir
davidson mulkey
Mar 02, 2008 davidson mulkey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: andrew
This is an amazing resource if you are a fan of oysters. My first date with my wife was at the "Oyster Bar" in Grand Central Station here in NYC. Back then we just ordered a bunch of things that were less than $3. Years have passed we began to eat A LOT and learn which ones we liked and little by little we developed knowledge of what we thought was good. It was fun and really, really expensive. If we had bought this book back then we could have saved thousands of dollars not to mention the lives ...more
Jan 05, 2009 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The single greatest book on bivalves I have ever had the pleasure to read. Funny, informative, moving. This book will warm your heart and strengthen your adductor muscle.
Aug 08, 2015 Jessi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the first part, the history and biology of the oyster. The parts about each and every oyster location & species, though, weren't for me. The recipes weren't up my alley, either. This is geared for the connoisseur who wants to try all of these oyster varieties, traveling or shipping them in to evaluate each one. I just want to go to a NC coast roast, bring my knife, and eat a half-bushel of lightly steamed Stump Sounds. Mmmm <3
Nov 16, 2011 Crystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did you know oysters are mobile and have some visual acuity early in their lives, but then voluntarily give up locomotion and sight? Or that they are sequential hermaphrodites that can change sex from year to year? Are you familiar with the nuances of "merroir"? (Think "terroir" for sea-dwellers.) This is the so-called Oyster Bible, and it will tell you everything you want (or didn't want) to know about the bivalve. I picked it up only because my boss handed it to me, but it was actually highly ...more
Brandon Daviet
Mar 23, 2014 Brandon Daviet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great guide who anyone who likes eating oyster. Tons of cool facts, history and different kinds of oyster's. A foodie book with humor and knowledge.
Liesel Schilperoort
Lots of information. I enjoyed the description of the oysters but I had to put it down more than I would have liked because the descriptions were all running together in my mind. I will probably use this as a reference guide before I go and buy my first batch of raw oysters to shuck and enjoy at home.
Jul 20, 2014 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must for oyster foodies. Inspired to do a grand tour of oyster lands
Aug 01, 2013 Jill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This turned out to be a great reference book for oysters. I had no idea there were so many different kinds! Tells you how they grow, different farming methods, historical development, what types are from where and what their flavors are, what sort of oysters you are most likely to like based on a categorization of palates, and then safety and other questions answered at the end.
Jan 02, 2013 Jeannie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommended! In particular, I was delighted to come across the section, "What kind of oyster eater are you?" Interesting recommendations on the kinds of oysters that suit different taste preferences. I also enjoyed the recommendations of martini, beer, sake, and water pairings with oysters, after the very thorough wine-oyster pairing section.
Diane C.
Feb 24, 2014 Diane C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Looking for an approachable, informative, comprehensive, witty and affectionate book about the world oysters?

You couldn't do better than this one. Rowan Jacobsen writes so wonderfully about food. His other books are amazing too.
Sep 16, 2011 Ruben rated it really liked it
Good book if used as a reference. Not really a straight through and read book, although it tries to set itself up that way. Useful information written irreverently at times (which I enjoyed.) Would be a good buy for future use as you explore oysters.
Dec 31, 2013 Oli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book on the diversity of Oysters. Eye opening read. Highly recommended.
Sep 02, 2008 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love food books by people who actually know how to write more than food reviews. This is a great book for anyone interested in understanding where oysters come from, how they grow, and how to pick the best tasting.
Glenn Van
Feb 17, 2013 Glenn Van rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing read for the oyster and non-oyster enthusiast. OK, possible more of interest to the oyster lovers. Oysters of all countries and origins are represented, just a fascinating book.
Jul 17, 2008 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must-have, must-read for anyone who is an oyster aficicionado. It will, however, make you hungry for oysters, so plan accordingly and do NOT read it at midnight on a Saturday...
Christina Boyle
Dec 05, 2010 Christina Boyle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the only comprehensive guides to oysters. It's also incredibly helpful in better understanding this delicious and reputationally "risky" delicacies.
Ryan C
Apr 09, 2013 Ryan C rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book for oyster amateurs and pros alike. Very easy read. Check out the website for helpful oyster cheat/reference sheets.
May 01, 2016 K rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Props to Hamma Hamma oyster farm!
May 19, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Time again for the great mollusk.
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Rowan Jacobsen is the James Beard Award-winning author of A Geography of Oysters: The Connoisseur’s Guide to Oyster Eating in North America, Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis, and The Living Shore, about our ancient connection to estuaries and their potential to heal the oceans. He has written for the New York Times, Newsweek, Harper’s, Outside, Eatin ...more
More about Rowan Jacobsen...

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“For us, it’s all progress from infancy to adulthood—language, walking, winking, sex.” 1 likes
“An oyster tastes good because at one spot in the natural world, something went right. A great oyster is an estuary flashing a thumbs-up sign.” 0 likes
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