Food writer Walsh (Tex-Mex Cookbook) catches the oyster-eating bug while on a reporting assignment in Galveston Bay, Tex. Writing at first about the Texas coastal environment, he seeks to understand the bacterial risks of eating fresh raw mollusks. En route, he becomes a lover and defensive champion of Crassostrea virginica, the "great American oyster," which is harvested primarily on the eastern and Gulf coasts. He works his way from New Orleans to New York City, comparing differences in oyster quality and flavor from water to water and-importantly-season to season. Broader species sampling requires traveling the Pacific Northwest, then crossing the Atlantic to Ireland, England and France. Along the way Walsh covers molluscan history, trade and aquaculture. Ample oyster facts, figures and literary lore flesh out a book that at times discloses surprising and complex economic and social connections between mollusk supply and demand and at others is a slightly by-the-numbers food history. He lists the oyster bars visited in the course of the book-along with a several recipes-which will whet the appetites of aficionados. (Jan.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sex, Death and Oysters: A Half-Shell Lover's World Tourby Robb Walsh
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When award-winning Texas food writer Robb Walsh discovers that the local Galveston Bay oysters are being passed off as Blue Points and Chincoteagues in other parts of the country, he decides to look into the matter. Thus begins a five-year journey into the culture of one of the world’s oldest delicacies. Walsh’s through-the-looking-glass adventure takes him from oyster reefs to oyster bars and from corporate boardrooms to hotel bedrooms in a quest for the truth about the world’s most profitable aphrodisiac.
On the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Gulf coasts of the U.S., as well as the Canadian Maritimes, Ireland, England, and France, the author ingests thousands of oystersraw, roasted, barbecued, and bakedall for the sake of making a fair comparison. He also considers the merits of a wide variety of accompanying libations, including tart white wines in Paris, Guinness in Galway, martinis in London, microbrews in the Pacific Northwest, and tequila in Texas.
Sex, Death and Oysters is a record of a gastronomic adventure with illustrations and recipesa fascinating collection of the most exciting, instructive, poignant, and just plain weird experiences on a trip into the world of the most beloved and feared of all seafoods.
Consider the oyster. At least that's what award-winning culinary journalist Walsh (Are You Really Going To Eat That?) did when he began a five-year odyssey tasting and comparing oysters in America and Europe. From the science of harvesting and cultivating oysters to the best ways to serve and eat them, Walsh distills everything he learned into this refreshingly tart, wonderfully entertaining book. Popular writer Mark Kurlansky also explored the culinary world of oysters in his fascinating The Big Oyster, but Kurlansky focused exclusively on New York City, while Walsh offers a bit less history but more of a worldview of this captivating comestible. For public libraries.
“The further Walsh strays from his Texas roots the sharper his accounts . . . Aspiring gourmets will appreciate the recipes sprinkled throughout . . . A helpful, amusing, no-nonsense oyster manual for the layperson.” Kirkus Reviews
“Sex, Death & Oysters captures the Houston food writer at his best, offering culinary insight, scientific fact, and offbeat humor as he travels the globe in search of the truth about oysters.” Texas Monthly
“Ample oyster facts, figures and literary lore flesh out [Sex, Death & Oysters] . . . [Walsh] lists the oyster bars visited in the course of the bookalong with several recipeswhich will whet the appetites of aficionados.” Publishers Weekly
“Walsh’s seemingly exhaustive research has produced a thorough look at the oyster industry, from its history to past and present politics.” Sauce Magazine
“If you love oysters, this is the book for you. And if you don’t, try a Gulf Coast oyster between November and March, when they’re the sweetest, says Walsh, and then see how you feel.” San Antonio Express-News
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Meet the Author
Robb Walsh has been a food writer for 15 years. He has been the restaurant critic for the Houston Press since 2000 and was formerly the food columnist for Natural History magazine and the editor in chief of Chile Pepper magazine. He currently writes for Gourmet, Saveur, and other publications. He has been nominated for the James Beard Award 13 times and won twice. He has also won the Bert Greene Award for Newspaper Food Journalism as well as several awards from the Association of Food Journalists.
His books include The Texas Cowboy Cookbook, Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook, The Tex-Mex Cookbook, and Are You Really Going to Eat That?
Walsh’s newspaper and magazine articles appear in several anthologies including Best Food Writing 2001-2006 and Cornbread Nation, Best Southern Food Writing I&II, from the Southern Foodways Alliance and University of North Carolina Press.
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