I’m not sure about you, but lobster is a rare treat in my household cause it’s so expensive. Just look at Luke’s Lobster. They charge $16 for a fairly small Maine-style lobster roll. Honestly, who wants to pay all that for a minuscule amount of meat?
But let me tell you that the lobster I often long for wasn’t such a rare delicacy back in the day. Actually, it was much less than that cause it was considered straight up garbage.
So how did lobster go from complete crap to a fine dinner that the elite eat, you ask? Well, to find out you’re gonna have to hear some history, and thanks to Business Insider and the History Channel, we got the scoop.
Here we go… back when the first European settlers came over to North America, they said that there were just so many dang lobsters that they would pile up two feet high and wash ashore in Massachusetts Bay Colony. Just imagine, lobsters on lobsters on lobsters.
And instead of this leading to seafood festivals and celebrations like the clambake, colonists were just super embarrassed by all of, what they called, the “cockroaches of the sea.” These hard-shelled creatures were even used as fertilizer and fish bait cause there were just so many around.
Lobster was also known as the poor man’s meal because the overabundance of these guys made it easy for people with no money to get their protein. In fact, these crustaceans were fed to prisoners, apprentices and slaves.
However, all this started to change in the mid 1800’s because of canned food and trains. #technology
Lobster actually became one of the most popular canned products on the market. And although canned lobster doesn’t sound too fresh and appealing to me, I guess you gotta do what you gotta do when you don’t live near the east coast and need some inexpensive food.
With train tickets becoming affordable, more and more people were also heading out to out to New England cities.
This made fresh lobster become even more popular and, because of this new demand, in the 1880’s restaurants and markets were able to mark up the prices. So by World War II, lobster was considered a delicacy and, as a result, what was once a poor man’s food became only affordable for them richer peeps.