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The Big Oyster

History On The Half Shell

By Mark Kurlansky

Before New York City was the Big Apple, it could have been called the Big Oyster. Now 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, whose influence on the great metropolis remains unparalleled.

For centuries New York was famous for its oysters, which until the early 1900s played such a dominant a role in the city’s economy, gastronomy, and ecology that the abundant bivalves were Gotham’s most celebrated export, a staple food for the wealthy, the poor, and tourists alike, and the primary natural defense against pollution 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 island hunting ground of the Lenape Indians to the death of the 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.

Kurlansky brings characters vividly to life while recounting dramatic incidents that changed the course of New York history. Here are the stories behind Peter Stuyvesant’s peg leg and Robert Fulton’s “Folly”; the oyster merchant and pioneering African American leader Thomas Downing; the birth of the business lunch at Delmonico’s; early feminist Fanny Fern, one of the highest-paid newspaper writers in the city; even “Diamond” Jim Brady, who we discover was not the gourmand of popular legend.

With The Big Oyster, Mark Kurlansky serves up history at its most engrossing, entertaining, and delicious.

Format

Book

Availability

1 available at Cooper (Forest Acres)
  • 641.694 Kur, Nonfiction

ISBN

0345476387


Format: Book
Author: Kurlansky, Mark
Summary: Before New York City was the Big Apple, it could have been called the Big Oyster. Author Kurlansky tells the remarkable story of the oyster, whose influence on the great metropolis remains unparalleled. For centuries New York was famous for its oysters, Gotham's most celebrated export, a staple food for the wealthy, the poor, and tourists alike, and the primary natural defense against pollution for the city's congested waterways. Filled with cultural, historical, and culinary insight, from the island hunting ground of the Lenape Indians to the death of the oyster beds and the rise of America's environmentalist movement, here are the stories behind Peter Stuyvesant's peg leg and Robert Fulton's "Folly"; the oyster merchant and pioneering African American leader Thomas Downing; the birth of the business lunch at Delmonico's; early feminist Fanny Fern, one of the highest-paid newspaper writers in the city; and even "Diamond" Jim Brady.--From publisher description.
Title: The Big Oyster : history on the half shell / Mark Kurlansky.
Publisher Date: New York : Ballantine Books, c2006.
Subject: Cookery (Oysters) Oysters -- New York (State) -- New York.
Isbn: 0345476387 9780345476388 (hardcover)
Current Holds: 0
System Items Available: 1
System Items Total: 1
Call Number: 641.694 Kur
Oclc: 60550567
Upc:
Bib Id: 238838

Format: Book
Author: Kurlansky, Mark
Summary: Before New York City was the Big Apple, it could have been called the Big Oyster. Author Kurlansky tells the remarkable story of the oyster, whose influence on the great metropolis remains unparalleled. For centuries New York was famous for its oysters, Gotham's most celebrated export, a staple food for the wealthy, the poor, and tourists alike, and the primary natural defense against pollution for the city's congested waterways. Filled with cultural, historical, and culinary insight, from the island hunting ground of the Lenape Indians to the death of the oyster beds and the rise of America's environmentalist movement, here are the stories behind Peter Stuyvesant's peg leg and Robert Fulton's "Folly"; the oyster merchant and pioneering African American leader Thomas Downing; the birth of the business lunch at Delmonico's; early feminist Fanny Fern, one of the highest-paid newspaper writers in the city; and even "Diamond" Jim Brady.--From publisher description.
Title: The Big Oyster : history on the half shell / Mark Kurlansky.
Edition: 1st ed.
Publisher, Date: New York : Ballantine Books, c2006.
Description: xx, 307 p. : ill., maps ; 22 cm.
Subjects: Cookery (Oysters)
Subjects: Oysters -- New York (State) -- New York.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (p. [283]-294) and index.
Contents: The beds of Eden -- A molluscular life -- The bivalvent Dung Hill -- The fecundity of Bivalvency -- A nice bed to visit -- Becoming the worlds's oyster -- Eggocentric New Yorkers -- The shells of sodom -- The crassostreasness of New Yorkers -- Making your own bed -- Ostreamaniacal behavior -- Ostracized in the golden age -- Enduring shellfishness.
LCCN: 2005049853
ISBN: 0345476387
ISBN: 9780345476388 (hardcover)
Requests: 0
Available Copies: 1
Total Copies: 1
Call Number: 641.694 Kur