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For Those Who Love To Eat Oysters

"A Southern Oyster Peddler," Harper's Weekly, March 2, 1889

Baltimore oyster pie, recipe below

Above is a 1889 illustration entitled a “Southern Oyster Peddler” from an old edition of Harper’s Weekly Magazine. The illustration reminded me of the centrality of the ocean and coastal ingredients in Chesapeake foodways. Oyster peddlers sold their goods to private homes, retailers, and tavern cooks. I have descriptions of tavern culture and food from earlier in the nineteenth century from which we can extrapolate what late nineteenth century taverns in the Chesapeake region might have been like. Nineteenth century taverns in port cities like Baltimore provided both lodging and meals which included among other items,“ fish and oysters, with a great variety of hot bread, both of wheat flour and Indian corn [corn bread],” writes Adam Hodgson speaking of Petersburgh, Virginia in 1821. 

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