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Heaven on the Half Shell – San Francisco, CA
September 24 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
David George Gordon, Samantha Larson, Maryann Barron Wagner
Heaven on the Half Shell
The Story of the Oyster in the Pacific Northwest
In-Person EventÂ â€˘Â Book Passage (SF Ferry Building)
Heaven on the Half ShellÂ offers a thoroughly researched and richly illustrated history of the Pacific Northwest’s beloved bivalve, the oyster. Starting with the earliest evidence of sea gardens and clam beds from 11,500 years ago, this book covers the history of oyster cultivation through contemporary aquaculture in coastal Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, northern California, and southeastern Alaska.
Generations of oyster farmers, Native and non-Native, have weathered many challenges to continue the harvest. Their vivid individual accounts are braided together with significant history, such as the major contributions of Japanese immigrants prior to World War II and the 1994 Rafeedie decision that affirmed shellfish harvesting rights held by Northwest tribes. The book also sheds light on the innovations that made oysters an enduringly popular food, from the creation of so-called sexless oysters that could be consumed year-round to breakthroughs in contemporary oyster cuisine.
Now fully updated and expanded–and chock-full of “oysterabilia”–this classic text shares new insights on emerging challenges to the oyster farmer’s life as well as increased coverage of the roles of women and contemporary tribes in building this cultural tradition, past and present. Newcomers and aficionados alike will also be delighted by the carefully selected recipes, both historic and contemporary, from the region’s top chefs. As the old saying goes, when the tide is out, the table is set.
David George GordonÂ is the award-winning author of 22 books, includingÂ The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook. He previously served as science writer for Washington Sea Grant, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationâ€™s National Sea Grant College Program that supports responsible use and conservation of coastal ecosystems.
Samantha LarsonÂ is science writer at Washington Sea Grant. Her writing and reporting has appeared in dozens of publications includingÂ Outside,Â National Geographic, andÂ High Country News.
MaryAnn Barron WagnerÂ is the lead for communications at Washington Sea Grant.