Starred Review. Jacobsen, managing editor of the magazine The Art of Eating, presents the ultimate macropedia for oysters, covering not just geography, but also philosophy, consumerism, epicurean splendor and the proper way to grow a pearl. The first of the guide's three sections, Mastering Oysters, covers such cocktail party talking points as A Dozen Oysters You Should Know and The Aphrodisiac Angle, and presents a primer on how and why oysters taste as they do. Chapter two accounts for half the book's page count and is a travelogue across the Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, a movable feast up and down the east and west coasts of North America. Jacobsen ends his research with Everything You Wanted to Know About Oysters but Were Afraid to Ask. (The title exemplifies one of the very few times that his writing goes stale). Here he lists the best ways to ship, store and shuck, and explains why it is perfectly all right to eat oysters in months that do not have an r in them. He also serves up 20 or so recipes, including Coconut Oyster Stew with ginger and lemongrass and Baked Oysters in Tarragon Butter, simple to make but complex in flavor. (Sept.)
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A wide-ranging, thorough, breezily written guide to oysters as cuisine…Jacobsen leads with his fearless palate every time- he's a down-to-earth companion you listen to, even if you don't always agree with him. (Boston Globe)
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…this book will improve your oyster eating immeasurably…There may be no more pleasurable food than a raw oyster, there almost certainly is no better guide. (Los Angeles Times, Russ Parsons)
the ultimate macropedia for oysters (Publisher's Weekly, starred review)