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The Essential Oyster

The Essential Oyster

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A Salty Appreciation of Taste and Temptation.

By Rowan Jacobsen

No Place On Earth.

"There's really no place on earth where the local oysters and wine 
go together as well as the North Fork of Long Island."  

It is such a stunning statement that we can't help but repeat it.

No place on earth.

So begins the Long Island Sound- Block Island chapter of Rowan Jacobsen's newest book, "The Essential Oyster."

The Essential Oyster

We'd agree, of course, but it worth noting that this is not a book written by a person with a narrow world view or specific reason to tout our backyard.

For those just catching up, Rowan Jacobsen is the James Beard Award- winning author of A Geography of Oysters and Fruitless Fall. The New York Times, Wild Earth, Harper's, Eating Well, and Newsweek have all featured Jacobsen's writings on food, the environment, and their interconnected nature.

Lest you think he is restricted to oyster-fandom, his book "Fruitless Fall" was a look into the collapse of the honey bee population and the potential agricultural crisis this portends. 

Rowan on Little Creek Oysters:

'No better place to take the pulse of the Long Island oyster scene
than on the front porch of this waterfront shack.'

A decade ago, Jacobsen wrote a book called A Geography of Oysters that celebrated the romance of oysters, the primal rush of slurping a raw denizen of the sea, and the mysteries of molluscan terroir. The book struck a chord, and American oyster culture has been on a gravity-defying trajectory ever since.

As we sit here already dog-earing this book, we keep contemplating a quick peek at airfare to some of the far flung oysters showcased in this book.  While there are many, many wonderful oysters that are not featured here, perhaps the  idea is to realize that there are some amazing discoveries to be made, if you can get away from your usual order.  Press your fishmonger and favorite raw bar to expand their horizons and take a little trip around the waters of the world.

With lavish four-color photos throughout by renowned photographer David Malosh, The Essential Oyster is the definitive book for oyster lovers everywhere, featuring stunning portraits, tasting notes, and backstories of all the top oysters, as well as recipes from America's top oyster chefs and a guide to the best oyster bars. Spotlighting more than a hundred of North America's greatest oysters--the unique, the historically significant, the flat-out yummiest—The Essential Oyster introduces the oyster culture and history of every region of North America, as well as overseas.

There is no coastline from British Columbia to Baja, from New Iberia to New Brunswick, that isn't producing great oysters. For the most part, these are deeper cupped, stronger shelled, finer flavored, and more stylish than their predecessors. Some have colorful stories to tell. Some have quirks. All have character. The Essential Oyster will help you find the best, and help you to cherish them better. That is what's captured—and celebrated—in these pages.



NOTE: Rowan will be at Little Creek Oysters on 10/22 for a book signing and what promises to be some wonderful tastings and pairings featuring many of the regional growers highlighted here as well as some house favorites!  

Limited tickets are on sale at: The Essential Oyster Signing TIX and include a signed copy of the book.

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