The Oyster Companion:
A Field Guide
Patrick McMurray, world champion oyster shucker and former owner of several oyster bars, restaurant designer and builder of three restaurants, oyster consultant, former owner of Ceili Cottage - a Toronto Irish style pub and oyster bar, oyster instructor, and author (Consider the Oyster: A Shucker's Field Guide), Patrick McMurray gives us a new entertaining compendium of oyster wisdom and oyster lore in The Oyster Companion: A Field Guide. A lot has happened over the past decade in the world of oysters. In his new book he distills the highlights of a decade more experience and learning to sing the praises of oysters, detail the health benefits, provide a short history, give us the essentials of the big five oyster species and several delicious representatives of each species, discuss how oysters get from the sea to the table, provide a bunch of oyster recipes (about 1/4 of the book), and delve into the art of shucking. He peppers the book with interesting facts such as how many Frenchmen seek medical attention for oyster shucking related injuries over the Christmas holidays. By the time McMurray concludes you will understand why Mark Kurlansky claims eating an oyster is like eating the sea. You will also find yourself struggling to not spend this month's mortgage payment buying way more oysters than you can hope to eat over the Internet. McMurray is a personable and entertaining writer. He comes across as someone you would like to sit down with and eat a few dozen oysters with over a beer or two. I enjoyed the book - you will too.