Since the dawn of time oysters have inhabited the earth. Naturally high in essential vitamins and minerals, they are one of the oldest known and most widely enjoyed foods. The oyster has driven countries towards discovery and exploration. It has been the food of the rich and the sustenance of the poor. Renowned for its supposed aphrodisiac quality, it has inspired writers, poets, painters and lovers. It has also contributed to the spread of diseases such as typhoid and cholera.
Follow the story from prehistory to the present day, discovering how the oyster became the food of both paupers and kings, how it contributed to the building of empires and the demise of ecosystems, and why it may be the creature to help save the world’s shorelines and reefs.