on May 4, 2000
I am not a great fan of oysters, but I am a very great fan of M.F.K. Fischer, and she makes an extraordinarily convincing case for the humble bivalve. In her sensuous, intelligent, witty and charming prose, she tells tales and relates recipes and historical trivia that will have even the most hardened anti-oyster reader craving the savor of oyster stew, or good old-fashioned oyster stuffing, or hang-town fry. This is a perfect paean to a food men of almost every culture have enjoyed throughout history. Whether you like the things or not, you will love this delicious, funny, warm book--and you, like me, may decide to give oysters another chance!
on July 30, 2007
This work is a beautiful piece of food writing. Fisher tells delightful tales of the oyster, both from a natural history and culinary history perspective. Integrated in to these stories are a fair mix of recipes and pieces of food advice. Embedded in all of this is a delightful sense of whimsy, which makes the reader think that while oysters are serious food, there is no reason to be completely serious about food.
It had me craving oysters from page one, and it is now a goal of mine to make Oyster stew this year. Some of the other recipes seem a bit silly, but I'll try one of those at least.
on December 11, 2007
MFK Fisher is like the Bach of authors. I bought this book because I love oysters, but after reading this book I was transported to a time and place to an atmosphere of life that doesn't seem to exist anymore. And I became enamored with the author.
It is hard to describe her work. Every word seems perfectly placed, like a musical note. This book is like a masterpiece in writing. I love oysters even more because of it. I have tried the recipes listed, and they have turned out incredible. The oyster stew was fantastic.
There is a recipe for Ramos' Gin Fizz, a drink I have never heard of. I researched it, and the drink was invented in the early 19th century!! It doesn't give the recipe for the drink which is a shame, but I did find the recipe on line and I did try it. It was very good. There is a sense of food archeology with the book, as if you are Indiana Jones discovering a lost city. You must read it to understand what I'm saying.
Every time I read this book, I feel transported in time to a happier place, where food was better. I feel like I'm tagging along with Fisher discovering hidden treasures of restaurants in remote locals.
Pick up this book if you love oysters, also pick it up if you love great writing by a great author.
This slim volume was given to me by a friend who knows of my great culinary passion for oysters. I had never heard of Fisher, was surprised that such a book existed, thanked him and then sat down to read it that evening. A couple of hours later I was a devoted M.F.K. Fisher fan. In an age where pleasure seems to be so complicated and few people can or are willing stop and smell the roses as they say, Fisher's analysis of the oyster is incredibly refreshing. It is a short, poetic reflection on the beauty of the oyster: from its remarkable biology and presence on Earth to simple recipes from her childhood. This is a truly joyous book that is essentially about the need for appreciation of the beauty, especially the simple beauty, to be found in life. Amidst the confusion of the modern world and the turmoil of the average man's life this book is a pause, a meditation, a prayer if you will to Nature and God, in whatever form He takes in your life. Needless to say, one need not like oysters to appreciate this book. I would be hard pressed to come up with a better way to spend a few dollars.
on June 23, 2015
MFK Fisher has a beautiful writing style along with a wry wit and deep insight regarding any subject she takes on. Consider the Oyster is much more than a 'cookbook', although there are a number of oyster recipes within it's covers and less than a 'history' of the oyster, although there is a great deal of factual information about this bivalve in the book. It is truly a memoir of "gourmandise" and a slim but delightful book. Highly recommended
on January 14, 2014
I quote from back cover "MFK Fisher, whom John Updike has called our "poet of the appetites," here pays tribute to that most enigmatic of ocean creatures, the oyster."
Well said! MFK Fisher (1908-1992) surely lives in culinary history as a "weaver of words" with all things culinary. So much so that the reader can smell the waft of oyster stew simmering... She takes you where she was, where she went in her discovery of all foods flavorful and romantic... She had a recipe and a story living right along side as that chowder simmered over the stove...
A master of her craft. A lover of foods with artist romantic sense. She is among the highest classically written prose writers of the culinary world!
I would of like to have known her. We could have been good friends...
on April 8, 2015
Written well before I was born. Well before I had my first oyster. Well before the food network. It's a very bright and cheerful read. Funny, witty, quirky. A little history, a little fact, a few recipes. Needs to be sold in every seafood shope from Newfoundland to Virginia.
on September 16, 2014
The second book by this prolific and influential author, it tells with wit, poetry, and precision the story from birth to table of an amazing food. "Consider the Oyster" is a short, flavor enhancing read and a magnificent introduction to a writer several newer generations could benefit from. Although others have been incorrectly credited with creating a food-specific tomb, this was the first of its kind.
on April 3, 2009
This book takes you back in time when America was raw and free.This ladys brutal truth is sexy.
on April 17, 2013
None of my friends beliwve that this is a real book despite proof otherwise. A book about oysters!? Indeed. It is utterly fascinating. I gained a new respect about this delicious little sea creature.