In this engrossing and very personal account, a young woman from Boston ditches her pampered city girl lifestyle and convinces the rowdy crew at Island Creek Oysters in Duxbury, Massachusetts, to let a completely unprepared, aquaculture-illiterate food and lifestyle writer work for them for 18 months to learn the business of oysters. The result is Shucked: part love letter, part memoir (complete with recipes), and part documentary about the world’s most beloved bivalves. It is an in-depth look at the work that goes into getting oysters from farm to table, and shows Erin’s full-circle journey through the modern day oyster farming process. It also tells a dynamic story about the people who grow our food, and the cutting-edge community of weathered New England oyster farmers who are defying convention and looking ahead.
Erin’s story captures a behind-the-scenes look at how she and the other growers adjust to the spotlight as Island Creek expands its product line, grows the staff, and puts plans in place to open a restaurant near Fenway Park. The narrative also interweaves Erin’s personal story—the tale of how a technology-obsessed workaholic learns to slow life down a little bit, and see life from a much less “plugged in” perspective. A unique blend of personal narrative, food miscellany, and history, Shucked is a combination of Bill Buford’s Heat and Phoebe Damrosch’s Service Included. Island Creek’s oysters can be found at hundreds of America’s top restaurants, including. Thomas Keller’s Per Se and the fabled Grand Central Oyster Bar.
But to know where they grow, how they are harvested, and how they end up naked on the half shell on ice, you’ll have to pull on a pair of waders, grab a knife, step onto the boat, and let Erin guide you on a unique tour of the oyster business from an insider’s perspective.
About The Author
Erin Byers Murray is a Boston area journalist, specializing in food and wine writing. Most recently, she was the Boston editor for DailyCandy.com. Her work as been published in the Boston Globe, Food and Wine, Boston Magazine, Body + Soul, and many more. Check out a sample of her work.