Best Selling Books by Rowan Jacobsen

Rowan Jacobsen is the author of A Geography of Oysters (2010), American Terroir (2010), Truffle Hound (2021), Shadows on the Gulf (2011) and other 5 books.

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9 results found

A Geography of Oysters

release date: Aug 09, 2010
A Geography of Oysters
In this passionate, playful, and indispensable guide, oyster aficionado Rowan Jacobsen takes readers on a delectable tour of the oysters of North America. Region by region, he describes each oyster's appearance, flavor, origin, and availability, as well as explaining how oysters grow, how to shuck them without losing a finger, how to pair them with wine (not to mention beer), and why they're one of the few farmed seafoods that are good for the earth as well as good for you. Packed with fabulous recipes, maps, and photos, plus lists of top oyster restaurants, producers, and festivals, A Geography of Oysters is both delightful reading and the guide that oyster lovers of all kinds have been waiting for.

American Terroir

release date: Aug 17, 2010
American Terroir
"Terroir" is French for taste of place. In this book, a James Beard Award-winning author explores many of the North American foods that depend on place for their unique flavor, including salmon from Alaska's Yukon River and honey from the tupelo-lined banks of the Apalachicola River.

Truffle Hound

release date: Oct 05, 2021
Truffle Hound
A captivating exploration into the secretive and sensuous world of truffles, the elusive food that has captured hearts, imaginations, and palates worldwide. The scent of one freshly unearthed white truffle in Barolo was all it took to lead Rowan Jacobsen down a rabbit hole into a world of secretive hunts, misty woods, black-market deals, obsessive chefs, quixotic scientists, muddy dogs, maddening smells, and some of the most memorable meals ever created. Truffles attract dreamers, schemers, and sensualists. People spend years training dogs to find them underground. They plant forests of oaks and wait a decade for truffles to appear. They pay $3,000 a pound to possess them. They turn into quivering puddles in their presence. Why? Truffle Hound is the fascinating account of Rowan's quest to find out, a journey that would lead him from Italy to Istria, Hungary, Spain, England, and North America. Both an entertaining odyssey and a manifesto, Truffle Hound demystifies truffles-and then remystifies them, freeing them from their gilded cage and returning them to their roots as a sacred offering from the forest. It helps people understand why they respond so strongly to that crazy smell, shows them there's more to truffles than they ever imagined, and gives them all the tools they need to take their own truffle love to the next level. Deeply informed, unabashedly passionate, rakishly readable, Truffle Hound will spark America's next great culinary passion.

Shadows on the Gulf

release date: Apr 11, 2011
Shadows on the Gulf
In the spring of 2010, we watched oil gushing unstoppably into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. But as bad as the spill was, it is only the latest chapter in a century-long story of destruction. At the height of BP's dispersant madness, the amount sprayed each day merely equaled the amount of dispersant that washes down the Mississippi from the Heartland's dishwashers and washing machines. Coastal drilling has damaged the region's ecology far more than offshore drilling. And the acres of marshland ruined by oil slicks can't compare to the amount that disappears in every hurricane, due to the work of the Army Corps of Engineers. Southern Louisiana is subsiding. Even if we succeed in restoring every mile of beach and wetland from the oil spill, the entire Mississippi Delta could be lost this century, and New Orleans will sink beneath the waves, an American Atlantis. Surveying the Gulf Coast by sailboat, skiff, car, and kayak, Jacobsen journeys from the bayous of Terrebonne Parish, to the last shucking house in New Orleans's French Quarter. He discovers a little-appreciated ecological wonder of breathtaking natural beauty and rich culture struggling to hold on to the things that have always sustained it. Shadows on the Gulf details the catastrophe creeping across the region and reveals why the damage to the Gulf will affect us all. Not only are the Gulf's wetlands the best oyster reefs and fish nurseries in the world, they also provide critical habitat to most of America's migratory songbirds and waterfowl. If the Gulf is allowed to fail, the effects will ripple across America.

The Essential Oyster

release date: Oct 04, 2016
The Essential Oyster
From Rowan Jacobsen, America's go-to expert, the author of the trailblazing A Geography of Oysters, comes the ultimate oyster guide--a gorgeous, full-color, must-have book. A decade ago, Rowan Jacobsen wrote a book called A Geography of Oysters that celebrated the romance of oysters, the primal rush of slurping a raw denizen of the sea, and the mysteries of molluscan terroir. The book struck a chord, and American oyster culture has been on a gravity-defying trajectory ever since. With lavish four-color photos throughout by renowned photographer David Malosh, The Essential Oyster is the definitive book for oyster-lovers everywhere, featuring stunning portraits, tasting notes, and backstories of all the top oysters, as well as recipes from America's top oyster chefs and a guide to the best oyster bars. Spotlighting more than a hundred of North America's greatest oysters--the unique, the historically significant, the flat-out yummiest--The Essential Oyster introduces the oyster culture and history of every region of North America, as well as overseas. There is no coastline from British Columbia to Baja, from New Iberia to New Brunswick, that isn't producing great oysters. For the most part, these are deeper cupped, stronger shelled, finer flavored, and more stylish than their predecessors. Some have colorful stories to tell. Some have quirks. All have character. The Essential Oyster will help you find the best, and help you to cherish them better. That is what's captured--and celebrated--in these pages.

Apples of Uncommon Character

release date: Sep 02, 2014
Apples of Uncommon Character
In his classic A Geography of Oysters, Rowan Jacobsen forever changed the way America talks about its best bivalve. Now he does the same for our favorite fruit, showing us that there is indeed life beyond Red Delicious-and even Honeycrisp. While supermarkets limit their offerings to a few waxy options, apple trees with lives spanning human generations are producing characterful varieties-and now they are in the midst of a rediscovery. From heirlooms to new designer breeds, a delicious diversity of apples is out there for the eating. Apples have strong personalities, ranging from crabby to wholesome. The Black Oxford apple is actually purple, and looks like a plum. The Knobbed Russet looks like the love child of a toad and a potato. (But don't be fooled by its looks.) The D'Arcy Spice leaves a hint of allspice on the tongue. Cut Hidden Rose open and its inner secret is revealed. With more than 150 art-quality color photographs, Apples of Uncommon Character shows us the fruit in all its glory. Jacobsen collected specimens both common and rare from all over North America, selecting 120 to feature, including the best varieties for eating, baking, and hard-cider making. Each is accompanied by a photograph, history, lore, and a list of characteristics. The book also includes 20 recipes, savory and sweet, resources for buying and growing, and a guide to the best apple festivals. It's a must-have for every foodie.

The Living Shore

release date: Jul 01, 2009
The Living Shore
In the 1990s, a marine scientist named Brian Kingzett was commissioned to survey Canada's western coast. He saw amazing sights, from the wildest, most breathtaking coasts to the smallest of marine creatures. Along the western side of Vancouver Island, Kingzett nosed into an isolated pocket beach where he found something unusual. Amid the mussels, barnacles, and clams were round oysters-Olympias. Kingzett noted their presence and paddled on. A decade later when he met Betsy Peabody, executive director of the Puget Sound Restoration Fund (PSRF), he learned that this once ubiquitous native oyster was in steep decline, and he knew that together they would return to this remote spot. Rowan Jacobsen, along with Kingzett, Peabody, and a small group of scientists from PSRF and the Nature Conservancy, set out last July to see if the Olys were still surviving-and if they were, what they could learn from them. The goal: to use their pristine natural beds, which have probably been around for millennia, as blueprints for the habitat restoration efforts in Puget Sound. The implications are vast. If Peabody and her team can bring good health back to Puget Sound by restoring the intertidal zones-the areas of land exposed during low tide and submerged during high tide, where oysters live-their research could serve as a model for saving the world's oceans. During a time when the fate of the oceans seems uncertain, Rowan Jacobsen has found hope in the form of a small shelled creature living in the lost world where all life began.

Fruitless Fall

release date: Jul 15, 2010
Fruitless Fall
Many people will remember that Rachel Carson predicted a silent spring, but she also warned of a fruitless fall, a time with no pollination and no fruit. The fruitless fall nearly became a reality when, in 2007, beekeepers watched thirty billion bees mysteriously die. And they continue to disappear. The remaining pollinators, essential to the cultivation of a third of American crops, are now trucked across the country and flown around the world, pushing them ever closer to collapse. Fruitless Fall does more than just highlight this growing agricultural catastrophe. It emphasizes the miracle of flowering plants and their pollination partners, and urges readers not to take the abundance of our Earth for granted. A new afterword by the author tracks the most recent developments in this ongoing crisis.

Chocolate Unwrapped

release date: Jan 01, 2003
Chocolate Unwrapped
Detailing the positive physical and psychological effects of chocolate, this book explores its colorful history, botany, and chemistry. Explaining the science behind chocolate, common myths about chocolate—that it causes acne, allergies, migraines, and hyperactivity—are dispelled, and its benefits—tannins in chocolate actually help prevent cavities—are revealed. Providing medical information relating to chocolate's high antioxidant levels and beneficial effects in terms of heart disease, cancer, aging, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease, the book also includes information regarding chocolate's mental health benefits. The included recipes provide a multitude of healthy ways to eat chocolate, from flourless chocolate cake to Mexican mole, and a comprehensive list of resources shows chocolate lovers where to find the best-quality chocolates around the world.
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