Oysters are older than us, older than grass. They have been present at every turn of human history back to the Neolithic. They have inspired writers, painters and cooks, sustained whole communities, and fashioned legend and history. Their pearls funded empires and created slavery. The evidence oysters leave behind suggests there was a seafaring empire along the coast of Western Europe long before the Romans, and that the world was perhaps colonised not from west to east but from south to north. We were not cavemen at all, but men, exploring along the coastlines, because oysters were a sign of a safe and healthy marine economy.
Oysters have played an intriguing part in the evolution of the world both as one of the healthiest foods we can eat and also with their perennial reputation as aphrodisiacs. Drew Smith takes us on a fascinating journey from the dawn of time right up to the present day, exposing the scandal of what has happened to the oyster in the showing how it has become a symbol for environmentalism in the UK and describing the hopes for aquaculture emanating from Japan and Korea.show more