The Evolution of Lobster – Once Fed To Prisoners, Now A Delicacy!
It's hard to beleive that lobsters were once something you would feed to your cats, not to your dinner guests! This led me to think how did lobsters make that transition from a peasasnt food to something we eat when we're feelin fancy?
As Greg Elwell in the Oklahoma Gazette put it: “Lobster is fancy. If you imagine a lobster talking, it probably has a British accent. Draw an animated lobster and I bet you’ll include a top hat, a monocle, and an opera cape.”
Well I did a little research on the matter and it's all about demand demand demand! According to factually.gizmodo.com, when colonists first arrived on shores of New England these little crustaceans were far too easy to come by. In fact they would wash up on the shorts until they piled up two feet tall! Lobsters also got a bad repuation and people would refer to them as the vacuums of the sea, eating up just about anything from the bottom of the sea.
Then when railroads started to spread through America, transportation managers realized that people didn't really know what lobster was and that it had a trashy reputation on the coast. So they served it to passengers as this rare exotic item. And they loved it! It was then that chefs realized how much better lobster looks and tastes if you cook it live rather than kill it and cook it later. I still find cooking them live to be pretty cruel and unusual but that doesn't stop me from shoving a lobster roll into my pie hole.
Anyway while everyone was feasting on tails and claws, the fishermen struggled to keep up with the demand. So as a result the price per pound quadroupled and lobster became the luxury we know it to be today. Just goes to show that once you put a high price tag on something and present it as a rarity, the more people will want to treat themselves to it.
Remember how the Lobster clawed his way to the top as you enjoy your 35 dollar lobster roll this Summer ;)