“For Love of Oysters”
with Carolyn Tillie
People either love ‘em or hate ‘em, but their reputation as an aphrodisiac is unparalleled throughout gastronomic history. It was unthinkable for the fashionable Roman senator to host a grand party – i.e., orgy – without oysters. Balzac was reputed to have started every meal with five dozen and Casanova’s fabled libido is attributed to his 50-oyster-a-day habit. By the nineteenth century, the typical American oyster saloon was a subterranean dive earmarked by a red light so they were easy to find. That these oyster bars were often owned by and adjacent to brothels may not a coincidence. Is there any scientific truth to the stories that oysters are an aphrodisiac? Explore the enigma and other bivalve anecdotes with Carolyn Tillie as she takes you on an exploration of one of the most ancient foods of humankind.