Shucked: Life on a New England Oyster Farm

Erin Byers Murray. St. Martin’s, $24.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-312-68191-3
Boston-area food blogger Murray writes about a year working on a Cape Cod oyster farm—a demanding work cycle, with backbreaking duties. Often under spirit-crushing conditions, she was rapidly schooled in the tasks and tools of her crew position, quickly adjusting and becoming skilled at the work. Murray’s own love of food and food writing informs the narrative, and she skillfully dramatizes the scenes of summertime sowing and depicts her many colorful co-workers. She eventually moves into the company offices as the farm expands its sustainable, beneficial practices in the restaurant industry and wider global village. She even does a day’s work in the kitchens of Thomas Keller’s Per Se and later reaps the immediate culinary benefits of the very oysters that she and her colleagues had laboriously harvested. Murray eschews poetic waxing on her subject and focuses closely on the action and the hard, hard work of farming, closing each chapter with a broad range of oyster recipes. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/12/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
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Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4299-8909-1
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-250-03200-3
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