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The bier-oyster connection seldom spoken

You dont see newspaper leads like this any more. It appeared in the Nashville Union and American in 1871, and was taken from the Cincinnati Gazette (no date given):

It is the custom of the world to honor great inventors and discoverers with a meed of praise proportionate to the importance of that to which they have introduced the human race. We glorify Franklin for bottling up lightning, and sound high the name of Morse because he utilized it for commercial and other purposes. We apotheosize Watt for demonstrating a practical use of steam; Guttenberg, for the invention of movable type; Jacquard, because he gave the world the silk loom, and Friar Bacon for the invention which is said to have blown his student and his laboratory out of existence at one and the same moment. Upon these and other inventors and discoverers all can put we can put our finger, as it were, with a moments reflection; but looking for the man to whom civilization is indebted for its bier, we find this identity wrapped in the mists of uncertainty which which envelop that of the individual who ate the first oyster.”

One hundred and sixty-four words. Whew.

4 Responses to The bier-oyster connection seldom spoken

  1. Gary Gillman February 26, 2015 at 6:47 am #

    I suppose he mentioned the two since it was taken for granted then that they are peas in a pod so to speak. Into the Michael Jackson era beer and oysters had a similar symbiosis. Yet today, you rarely read of beer and oyster feasts. Given the ferment of brewing on both coasts and the popularity of Pacific and many other varieties of the squishy mollusc, one would think pairings would be legion but you don’t hear of them much. (I don’t mean oyster stout itself which seems a damp squib these days and rightly so since the role of oyster in the beer has been misapprehended: the fishy stuff was intended as nothing more than a clarifying agent originally).

    I have experience attending pre-craft oyster and beer parties at Canadian Legion halls in the 1970’s in Montreal and they were fun even when the beer was just … beer.

    Line up those hazy pales and Cotuits will someone…?



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