Every once in a while I get interested in the history of New York & Manhattan — think it’s just because I spent a lot of time there when I was at Reactivity. Also, I’ve read several books by Kurlansky, since his first (fantastic!) book, “Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World”. (Seriously. It’s an incredibly great book. Perfect example of what a monograph should be. Conversely, I have no interest at all in the history of oysters. I may even have negative interest in oysters, as I don’t even really like to eat them, sadly.
So I picked this book up mostly for a recounting of the settlement of NYC — and that stuff was all great. The recipes for oysters — on the half shell, fried, fricasseed & fried yet again — I probably could have lived without.
I wish Kurlansky would write a book as good as Cod again.