History on the Half Shell

photos: m&j

We just discovered this 2006 gem, The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell by Mark Kurlansky. A portrait of the once-famous oyster beds of New York Harbor that “beautifully illustrates food’s ability to connect us deeply to our particular place in the world and shows how our nourishment is so vitally tied to the health of the natural world.” “The Big Oyster is a zesty love song to a bivalve and a city  — intelligent, informative, and impossible to put down.” As ladies who love New York history and anything to do with oysters (and who happen to curate a fairly vast historical oyster shucking implement collection) we were absolutely riveted- thanks for the wonderful reco, JJ!


  1. J.D. "Monty" Montgomery said

    Lovely photos, as always ladies. I had heard that NYC once had marvelous oyster beds and now I know where I can read about them. I especially love that you own all of those oyster-shucking accoutrements!

    • So glad you appreciate the accoutrements. Monty – we do so love our “props!” And yes, the oyster beds in and around the isle of what is now Manhattan were once touted as the most fecund in the entire world. If you have an interest in this subject, you should really read Mr. Kurlansky’s book – it is absolutely marvelous!

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