xx, 307 pages : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 283-294) and index.
"Before New York City was the Big Apple, it could have been called the Big Oyster. Author Kurlansky tells the remarkable story of the oyster, whose influence on the great metropolis remains unparalleled. For centuries New York was famous for its oysters, Gotham's most celebrated export, a staple food for the wealthy, the poor, and tourists alike, and the primary natural defense against pollution for the city's congested waterways. Filled with cultural, historical, and culinary insight, from the island hunting ground of the Lenape Indians to the death of the oyster beds and the rise of America's environmentalist movement, here are the stories behind Peter Stuyvesant's peg leg and Robert Fulton's "Folly"; the oyster merchant and pioneering African American leader Thomas Downing; the birth of the business lunch at Delmonico's; early feminist Fanny Fern, one of the highest-paid newspaper writers in the city; and even "Diamond" Jim Brady"--From publisher description.
The beds of Eden. A molluscular life ; The bivalvent Dung Hill ; The fecundity of Bivalvency ; A nice bed to visit ; Becoming the world's oyster ; Eggocentric New Yorkers -- The shells of Sodom. The crassostreasness of New Yorkers ; Making your own bed ; Ostreamaniacal behavior ; Ostracized in the golden age ; Enduring shellfishness.
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