Friday, June 01, 2007

Book Review: The Hog Island Oyster Lover’s Cookbook

Oyster lovers rejoice. There is a new book on the market that you should rush out to buy. Not next week, not even tomorrow – go and buy this book right now.

Written by Jairemaire Pomo, The Hog Island Oyster Lover’s Cookbook is a delightful romp through the world of oysters in general and Hog Island’s offerings in particular. Jairemaire has succeeded admirably in capturing the passion, enchantment, and mystic that have surround oysters throughout history. It’s an easy read that will probably make you laugh out loud at times.
The crowd is well-heeled, elegant, and mannered – that is until they spy the Hog Island Oyster bar. Women approach with flirtatious and seductive body language that suggests they’re going after a Calvin Klein underwear model. Men stand at the corners and surreptitiously snatch oysters from the ice. (Jairemaire’s description of a tony wine and food event in the Napa Valley)

But make no mistake, this 168-page volume is packed with information. From step-by-step instructions on safely shucking oysters with flair to a concise overview of the varieties, history, and even how to order oysters in a restaurant, once you’ve finished The Hog Island Oyster Lover’s Cookbook, you’ll be in oyster heaven.

Only one cautionary note. If, like both of us, you’re already an oyster aficionado, you will definitely be heading to your nearest supplier. There are 40 recipes for oysters – both raw and cooked. Oysters with cucumber, lime, and sake; oysters with lemon ice and caviar; oyster and shrimp gumbo; poached oysters with crème fraiche and caviar – okay, so we enjoy caviar almost as much as oysters. This is a problem?

What You Need to Know
Title: The Hog Island Oyster Lover’s Cookbook: A Guide to Choosing and Savoring Oysters, with 40 Recipes
Author: Jairemaire Pomo, also known as the self-appointed Empress of Oysters
Published: 2007 by Ten Speed Press
ISBN: 58008-735-3
Cost: $24.95 (Cdn)
Available in Vancouver, BC, at Barbara Jo’s Books to Cooks and other fine bookshops

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