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Now, years after that first revelation, Townsend is something of a reigning expert on the crustaceans. Townsend can reel off numerous examples. Lobster in mustard sauce. Lobster simmered in vinegar, cumin, and even beef stock.

Before your next lobster, learn the lure and the lore

But as difficult as it may be to imagine smothering the taste of lobster in mustard or beef stock, Townsend understands how the tradition came about. As many New Englanders already know, there was a time when lobster was so plentiful that it was considered fit only for poor fishermen and others who ate what they could scavenge.

They grew to be enormous: up to 6 feet long, and 16 to 25 pounds in weight. It was fed to pigs, used as an ingredient in fertilizer, used in fish bait. In the s, lobster was so plentiful that people were embarrassed to eat it. I learned that abundance creates disgust. Even with the book finished, Townsend said, she continues to be fascinated by all she learned.

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Over 50% Less Lobsters in the Adriatic

Home Delivery. Before your next lobster, learn the lure and the lore Two new books by New England writers provide in-depth explorations into the history and culture of lobsters.

Fred Field for The Boston Globe. By Jane Dornbusch. E-mail this article.

Lobster: A Global History by Elisabeth Townsend

Sending your article. Lobster Takes Centre Stage 4. Lobster Controversies 5. Killing and Cooking Humanely 6. Wall Street Journal.

There are plenty of entertaining moments. Reading its pages inclusive of recipes will leave almost anyone considerably more clued up about lobsters than they were before. Food and Gastronomy.

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