Tidewater Review by Anne Stinson
American Catch, The Fight for Our Local Seafood by Paul Greenberg. The Penguin Press. 251 pages plus 45 pages of Notes and Index. $26.95 Paul Greenberg knows his way around the fine points of seafood, but may be a bit overenthusiastic when it comes to oysters. He claims, and repeats more than once, that the oysters that were harvested in New York and environs in the 1800s and into the first quarter of the 1900s were the most wonderful, delicious, absolutely supremely f lavored of any bivalve to slide down a human throat. For this fan of local oysters, particularly oysters that have vacationed for a glorious time in the briny water at Chincoteague, Greenbergâ€™s boasts are a bit hard to swallow. You have to wonder if the fisherman and writer ever tasted an oyster out of the Chesapeake Bay. The good man means well, though, and admits that eating an oyster from the New York harbor these days would be akin to suicide. His newest book follows the theme of his previous one, titled Four Fish, in line with his strong views on our
countryâ€™s idiotic waste of a valuable natural resource. He backs up his arguments with such sensible data that he deserves an attentive audience. He uses three categories of seafood to scold, criticize and hammer the truth ~ oysters, shrimp and salmon. These are the three most popular choices of seafood on the menu, he writes.