The Essential Oyster: A Salty Appreciation of Taste and Temptation


Product Details

$35.00  $32.55
Bloomsbury USA
Publish Date
7.6 X 9.3 X 1.0 inches | 2.4 pounds

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About the Author

Rowan Jacobsen's first book on oysters, A Geography of Oysters, won the James Beard Award in 2007 and helped trigger the oyster mania we now find ourselves in. He is the author of Apples of Uncommon Character, Fruitless Fall, The Living Shore, and American Terroir. He has written for the New York Times, Harper's, Outside, Mother Jones, and others. He maintains the world's two leading web sources on oysters: Oysterguide (for his opinions) and Oysterater (for everybody else's). He lives in Vermont.


"A gastronomic inventory of America's oysters, meticulously distinguishing among the dozens of varieties that diners encounter . . . Jacobsen manages to illustrate the unique appearance, occurrence, shapes, colors, scents, and flavors of oysters hailing from each separate reef bordering American shores. He realizes all this through his exceptional command of language and his ability to resonate with the human passions of the oystermen he meets on his journeys from the Gulf of Maine to the Gulf of Mexico to Puget Sound. A remarkable, essential addition to any food collection." - starred review, Booklist

"With oysters looking and tasting completely different in every cove and bay, Rowan Jacobsen guides us through the array of choices with authority, verve, and charm. The Essential Oyster is a rare pearl." - Mark Kurlansky, author of COD and THE BIG OYSTER

"From dedicated oyster aficionado Rowan Jacobsen, a book for all the oyster lovers in the world! A wealth of fun and information." - Sandy Ingber, Executive Chef, Grand Central Oyster Bar

"Rowan Jacobsen is one of the best writers reporting on, and thinking about, food today. Period." - Michael Ruhlman, author of THE SOUL OF A CHEF and RATIO

"[A] verbally and visually succulent book . . . Jacobsen may leave noncoastal readers drooling with jealousy, but vicarious oyster slurping is better than none." - Kirkus Reviews

"A dazzling book about the best bivalves of our time . . . Rowan Jacobsen is to oysters what a sommelier is to wine--minus the pretense . . . There are more than 300 different oysters in North America, and in Mr. Jacobsen we have an expert guide." - Wall Street Journal

"No matter how well you may know a subject, when Rowan Jacobsen writes about it you'll find illuminating and fascinating new information. Luckily for us, oysters are one of his specialties." - Seattle Times

"Chart[s] the oyster's resounding comeback and provide guidance to diners facing down an embarrassment of bivalves. - The Wall Street Journal

"You'll find everything you ever wanted to know about oysters in Rowan Jacobsen's new book, 'The Essential Oyster: A Salty Appreciation of Taste and Temptation.' - New London Day

"If you've ever wanted a story to leap off the page of a book, this is that book . . . Rowan Jacobsen, who has written not one, but two acclaimed, encyclopedic books about oysters, the industry and where to find the best ones, is helping that dream come true." - Miami Herald

"Jacobsen sets the stage for savoring oysters and oyster culture . . . A true shellfish manifesto, celebrating the romance of oysters, the primal rush of slurping a raw denizen of the sea, and guiding readers and eaters alike to shucking stations with a bit of knowledge and the desire to try something new." - Napa Valley Register

"[H]ere are the Winesap, the Pound Sweet, the Maiden's Blush and Black Twig, rendered in a vivid prose rarely seen outside of the wine list . . . For anyone who's willing to get swept up in the grand romance of food, this handsome volume will make for seductive reading." - Morning Edition, NPR, on APPLES OF UNCOMMON CHARACTER

"One of the most remarkable single-subject books to come along in a while . . . Jacobsen covers oysters in exhaustive detail, but with writing so engaging and sprightly that reading about the briny darlings is almost as compulsive as eating them . . . There may be no more pleasurable food than a raw oyster, there almost certainly is no better guide." - Los Angeles Times on A GEOGRAPHY OF OYSTERS

"Written in an accessible style by a hard-core ostreaphile, A Geography of Oysters is a fun read, inviting you to join Jacobsen on his quest for an oyster-rich life. Yes, please!" - Washington Post on A GEOGRAPHY OF OYSTERS

"The most gripping aspect of James Beard Award winner Rowan Jacobsen's Apples of Uncommon Character is the author's loving, quirky, and so-vivid-it's-like-you're-eating-one-right-now descriptions of 123 different apples." - Bon Appetit on APPLES OF UNCOMMON CHARACTER