The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell [Audiobook]
13 November 2014, 06:25
2006 | MP3@96 kbps + PDF | 9 hrs 49 mins | 408.72MB
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.
When Peter Minuit bought Manhattan for $24 in 1626 he showed his shrewdness by also buying the oyster beds off tiny, nearby Oyster Island, renamed Ellis Island in 1770.
From the Minuit purchase until pollution finally destroyed the beds in the 1920s, New York was a city known for its oysters, especially in the late 1800s, when Europe and America enjoyed a decades-long oyster craze. In a dubious endorsement, William Makepeace Thackeray said that eating a New York oyster was like eating a baby.
Travellers to New York were also keen to experience the famous New York oyster houses. While some were known for their elegance, due to a longstanding belief in the aphrodisiac quality of oysters, they were often associated with prostitution. In 1842, when the novelist Charles Dickens arrived in New York, he could not conceal his eagerness to find and experience the fabled oyster cellars of New York City's slums.
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.
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