Oysters of New York

Oysters and New York City enjoy a rich history. When the Dutch arrived, giant oyster beds surrounded Manhattan. At the time, Liberty Island was known As Great Oyster Island and Ellis Island was Little Oyster Island.

It was thought that half of the world's oyster supply came from the waters around NYC. We spoke to Mark Kurlansky, author of the book "The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell."

An oyster sloop is a sail powered oyster boat. From about 1820 to 1910, hundreds of sloops delivered millions of bushels a year to barges along the city's rivers. Most of the oysters didn't travel far. They were sold at

Street stands, market stalls, and restaurants such as Delmonico's.

New York was one big oyster on the half shell but eventually pollution changed the equation.

New York's oyster glory days may be behind us, but things are looking up.  Blue Island Oyster Company in Sayville, Long Island, ships about 10 million oysters a year. At its farm on the Great South Bay, baby oysters hang out until they're ready to be harvested.

These days you can find great prices on oysters all over the city. Lazy Point Restaurant always has an oyster special.