7 Annotations

First Reading

April Peavey  •  Link

Was lobster an expensive delicacy or was it regarded as a "poor man's meal?"

James Griffin  •  Link

I have read that one reason the Pilgrims in Massachusetts were so short of food during their first year in America is that they did not consider lobsters edible.

dirk  •  Link

Lobsters vs Pilgrims

Not very credible, if you check this site:
"The English colonists ate a variety of shellfish, including lobster, but they preferred their traditional, grain-based fare. Shellfish might have been an especially important staple of the colonist's diet before the English grain-based foods were plentiful."
The main problem seems to have been not so much one of taste but preservation in a time when there were no cooling facilities...

At some point even:
"Lobster was a poor man's food."

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

If you are ordered to break the claw of a crab or a lobster, clap it between the sides of the dining-room door between the hinges. Thus you can do it gradually without mashing the meat; which is often the fate of the street-door key, or the pestle.
---Directions to Servants. Jonathan Swift, 1745.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Poor food? Pepys enjoyed lobster every year in the Diary.

William Clifford  •  Link

While today it’s considered a delicacy, lobster was once a poor man’s food. Thanks to its overabundance, people quickly became sick of the shellfish and only fed it to animals, prisoners, and indentured servants. However, lobster became a popular luxury food in the late 1800s and remains one to this day.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


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