Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

A Geography of Oysters: The Connoisseur's Guide to Oyster Eating in North America Hardcover – Sep 4 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
CDN$ 148.79 CDN$ 52.35

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
click to open popover

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; 1 edition (Sept. 4 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596913258
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596913257
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.9 x 20.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #522,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“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

See all Product Description

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a professional marine biologist, international oyster consultant and lover of half-shell oysters, there is no question that this is an outstanding and enjoyable reference book. Perhaps the only one of many available which has few or no errors. Very informative in all aspects of oyster culture, history, techniques, modern advances etc. A wealth of information. I also like the identification of some of our outstanding growers and their specialities. There are many more not recognized of course but this provides an excellent start to the amature oyster adventurer. The last bit of the book is a bit tedious as the author tries to identify many grow-out sites in North America and may easily be skipped with no loss of value.
An essential book for the professional grower and oyster lovers of North America.
One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
If you love oysters, you will enjoy this book. I've worked in the shellfsh business for 15 years, and enjoyed learning about many other types of oysters I've only heard about. Overall, an excellent review of oysters in North America.
2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent and in depth reference!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa5ad1030) out of 5 stars 74 reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5b0abac) out of 5 stars Fantastically thorough book about oysters Dec 11 2007
By Harry Popsicle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love oysters. I don't know why, but I just do. Every now and then I get strong cravings and I just have to have them. I also have a lot of books about oysters because of it. "Consider the oyster" a great book, and others. But they are all mainly cook books with very little detail about the oyster, where it comes from and it's history.

This book is incredibly well written, witty at times and very informative. You can learn how oysters are farmed and their various techniques. Things I didn't even find on wiki. I learned how they get to harden those shells. I purchased some Carlsbad Blondes, and those shells would just snap in half. Terrible oysters. I know why because of the book.

I'm not sure how the author did it, but it seems he has had the incredible opportunity to sample a great many oysters. I can see his tax return $1000 spent as "research" for his book. What a great way to do research. Upon one of the authors great descriptions, I ordered three dozen Hama Hama's. They were fantastic.

The author picks five or six farms and gives incredible detail about the location, the owner/farmer and his/her history and the oysters themselves. This is a book to own now, because it is relavent now with the current oyster farmers listed. It is a chance to learn about the worlds best and to learn how to sample them.

The only thing I would have loved to see in the book, would be a travel guide on how to visit the various farms the author so nicely listed. That's one of the things I plan on doing is to travel up and down the coast visiting oysters farms along the way. I would have loved this book to have a guide like that.

There is a section on "what kind of oyster" person are you? But I didn't find that very useful or informative. A very minor drawback for an incredibly informative book on oysters. Every connosieur(sp?) should have a copy. A book for oyster lovers by an oyster lover.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5b0adf8) out of 5 stars Geograpy of Oysters Sept. 17 2007
By Thomas Christopher Greene - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book was one I bought as a potential reference book, however once i picked it up I just kept reading it. This is far from a dry review of oysters it is funny and insightful. My oyster vocabulary has blossomed.

Three friends have requested that I stop talking about oysters and buy them a copy for their birthdays.

It tells about the oysters and then how to get them delivered to your door for dinner. I love this book.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5b10054) out of 5 stars Love Oysters but a Little Perplexed by Them? The Answers Are Here. June 18 2008
By mirasreviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"A Geography of Oysters" is the guide that I've been looking for. I love raw oysters, but they have a mind-boggling number of names and farming methods that I never could sort out. The people selling them are of limited help. I've read books about oysters, but they said little about particular species or origins. Now Rowan Jacobsen has made sense of it all in this practical guide to oyster eating in North America. Like European wines or single malt whiskies, oysters taste like the place they come from, so Jacobsen takes us all over North America to learn how and where 132 common oysters are farmed. Although there are some recipes in the back, "A Geography of Oysters" is primarily dedicated to raw oysters, so this is for those of us who like to slurp the slimy things out of their shells.

The guide has three parts. The first, "Mastering the Oyster", tells us about the 5 species of oyster that are cultivated in North America, explains the life cycle of an oyster, oyster harvesting, farming, and hatcheries, how different methods of cultivation affect texture, taste, and shelf life, how and why season and place affects taste, and how modern aquaculture has created an environmentally beneficial, diverse oyster industry. It's a solid introduction to oysters. The meat of the book is the second part, "The Oyster Appellations of North America". This is where we get an ostreaphilic tour of the continent. For each region, state, or province, Jacobsen provides a history of oysters in that region, followed by how, where, and other particulars for the major oysters in that area.

The final section, "Everything You Wanted to Know about Oysters but Were Afraid to Ask", gives advice on how to choose an oyster, storing oysters, shucking oysters, serving oysters, wines that go well with oysters and those that do not. Jacobsen prefers his oysters raw but offers 21 recipes -which will presumably be reserved for those unfortunate occasional bland oysters. There are several recipes for mignonette to top your oysters, oyster stew, and oysters roasted, baked, fried, pickled, and even drunk. That's followed by notes about safety, nutrition, and a helpful list of oyster bars, festivals, and growers that ship direct. As the man says, we don't eat oysters because we are hungry. We eat them to experience them. "A Geography of Oysters" will help you experience more oysters.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5b102d0) out of 5 stars Slurp o licious Sept. 10 2007
By Angelo J. Piccozzi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Jacobsen has turned the art of eating oysters to a higher level.

You can't wait to finish the book so you can start trying out his great recommendations. Whether you're an oyster novice, blindly feeling your way around the oysters beds, or, a seasoned connoisseur, this book is a must read. Great work Rowan!!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5b105c4) out of 5 stars Delicious Reading Feb. 18 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Rowan Jacobsen writes about oysters in beautifully descriptive language, with offbeat humor thrown in. I've recommended this book even to those who won't eat a raw oyster, but love great writing and have a curious mind. If you are an oyster aficionado, then you simply must read this book! But, be warned, you'll then be on a mission to try as many of them as possible, immediately.

"At some level, it isn't about taste or smell at all. Because an oyster, like a lover, first captures you by bewitching your mind." -Rowan Jacobsen