Boston Lobster | From Total Crap To A Luxurious Delicacy
Updated: Jan 10
What comes into your mind when we say Boston lobster? A pure indulgence only for the rich or the elite? Perhaps, a less extreme thought - a gourmet meal you will only consider ordering during meaningful dates with your special ones. Right? It’s a once in a blue moon meal for special occasions due to its premium price tag.
But, do you know that lobster, in general, was relegated to an inferior status back in the past? Initially viewed as overgrown pest or cockroach of the sea, it was not regarded as appetising or visually pleasing as fish. People felt so averse to accept this protein source that it was only served to the poor, slaves, indentured servants and prisoners. To some extent, people even see them as inedible, hence, using lobsters as fertiliser, instead. Mind-blowing, isn’t it?
How’s the fate of Boston Lobster in specific then?
The History of Boston Lobster
Tracing back to the 17th century when The British Puritans first landed in the Americas, they were almost starved to death. Despite seeing the abundance of Boston lobsters by the shoreline, they didn’t even dare to touch them, not to mention to consume them. In fact, they hadn’t seen any creature quite like that before back in their home country.
Especially in the Northeastern United States, loads of lobsters would wash ashore in Massachusetts Bay Colony and pile up two feet high occasionally. Later when the Americans started the culture of eating lobster, the overabundance of lobsters kept the price low. This is indeed a classic case of supply and demand as no one will buy or sell anything you can easily pick up.
Hence, Boston lobsters were sold at a cheaper price than chicken, given the label as the "poor man's chicken". Not until the mid-19th century it was thought of as anything but what the commoners would actually eat.
In early 1840, Maine began shipping lobster to various parts of the country, and the first shipment arrived in Chicago in 1842. At that time, the wholesale price was a dime per pound and retailed at twelve cents. If you were to compare, a cup of coffee was priced at five cents during that time. They were only 7-cent different. Do you see how small the price difference was back in those days?
With the advancement of technology, lobster flesh was processed into canned products which actually became popular on the international market. As the demand for fresh Boston lobster increases over time, the price is marked up in the market after World War II. Its fate changed from total crap to a luxurious delicacy or something that is almost exclusively reserved for the wealthy.
Is Boston Lobster Originated From Boston?
Many often mistaken Boston lobsters’ place of origin. Also known as American lobster and Maine lobster, Boston lobster is a cold water lobster, scientifically known as Homarus americanus. Scattered across the Atlantic coast of North America, Boston lobsters are largely found on the coast of Maine, instead of Boston.
Unlike the Caribbean lobsters or Rock lobsters which live in warm water, Boston lobsters can be distinguished by their two large claws. They have flesh in both claws and tail while the only edible meat on warm water lobster is in its tail.
Boston Lobsters With Soft Shells Are Sweeter
Boston lobsters are usually olive green or greenish-brown, orange, reddish-brown, or black in colour. It is quite rare to come across those in blue, probably about one in two million. Often confused with the Canadian lobsters due to its appearance, Boston lobsters usually have flesh that is whiter, sweeter and more tender.
In fact, those with new soft shells give the most flavourful and luscious mouthfeel you can’t walk away from. But, lobsters with softer shells are not suited for shipping as the chance of them dying during shipping is much higher than those with hard shells. As a result, most of the lobsters imported from the US are the hard shell ones.
Only until the 21st century, the lobster processing producers began to use cryogenic freezing technology (using nitrogen and carbon dioxide) to freeze cooked and raw lobsters. Without having to travel to New England, we Malaysians get the opportunity to sample this delicacy in its most pristine condition.
Serving Up Hearty Boston Lobster Meals
Busy and tired after a long and tiring day? We want to make sure you’re eating well. Bring your loved ones together and let us take care of your dinner today. Our Boston lobsters are served à la Thermidor, Garlic Butter and Lemon Aioli, not to forget our Classic Lobster Roll.
Well, every day is worth celebrating in its own way. So, wait no more and get 5% cashback from your total bill for your subsequent visit. Your Boston lobsters are waiting!