gloomy and/or hopeful monologue

2月 24, 2006

New York history in an oyster shell

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sato Atsushi @ 7:42 am



New York history in an oyster shell – Print Version – International Herald Tribune

NEW YORK Before it had hot dogs or bagels, New York had oysters. And, as Mark Kurlansky explains in “The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell” ($23.95, Ballantine Books), these were not just any oysters.

For more than a century, the oysters pulled from New York waters, especially from the East River and around Staten Island, were prized by connoisseurs as the finest in the world. They were shipped to top restaurants in Paris and London, and once the Erie Canal was completed in 1825 and railroad links were established soon after, they were sent to western destinations in the expanding territory of the United States.

Demand would soon outstrip supply, and the beds were exhausted.

Pollution eventually took its toll, and what oysters were left in New York waters were no longer safe to eat. The Big Oyster became the Big Apple.

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