A Gastronomic History (with Recipes)
Former editor of The Good Food Guide, restaurant writer for the Guardian newspaper and author, Drew Smith tackles the lore and history of the oyster in Oyster: A Gastronomic History (with Recipes). Smith starts with the oyster's anatomy and then delves into the oyster in ancient times covering the Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans. In the old world he covers the British Isles, Holland and France. His section on the New World begins with the use of the oyster by the first Americans and the impact of European settlement and how they embraced the oyster. Australasia and Asia finish out his discussion of history and lore and leads to a discussion of the fuiture of oysters. He concludes with the essentials - how to open an oyster, proper etiquette, drinks to pair with oysters and oyster varieties. This is more of an oyster lore and background book than it is a book to help you pick what oyster to eat. The recipes are easy to follow and are of historic interesting in reading how the Ancient Romans cooked oysters. The book is lavishly illustrated and reproduces oyster artwork such as the works of Dutch Masters and John Singer Sargent's The Oyster Beach at Cancale. This is an interesting, attractive, well written book.