Oyster Culture

“The best part of raising oysters is just to be out there on the grounds at dawn on a winter morning. It’s just beautiful.”

UNC professor Bernie Herman has raised oysters on the Easter Shore of Virginia on a small scale for the last eight years. Living there as a small boy, oysters were common, abundant. Now, he says they’re just the opposite, threatened by climate-related erosion, so he does all that he can to protect them. But Herman isn’t a marine biologist. He’s a cultural historian.

Herman’s Eastern Shore of Virginia Foodways Project documents and celebrates the area’s rich culinary heritage and aims to enhance awareness of the distinctive terroir through community involvement.

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Bernie Herman is the George B. Tindall Distinguished Professor of Southern Studies and chair of the UNC Department of American Studies.

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