Friday, July 30, 2004

A supposedly fun... oh, fuck it

So one of those writers with three names wrote an article about lobster for Gourmet, and it's creating quite a stir among my betters, i.e., people who don't only read books about food. Rake's Progress provides a summary, and CAAF a disturbing and excellent analysis from "America," by which I mean Chili's (geoepistomolical background here). The article sounds interesting enough that I might actually buy Gourmet, which is saying something.

This is funny, because just last night I was discussing lobster with a vegetarian friend who has recently moved to Maine. Unsurprisingly, his reaction to watching you crack into the carapace and slurp out the meat is primarily revulsion. Also not such a big fan of the tomalley. Now, I am not disgusted by the lobster, but I do find the reward/effort ratio unacceptably low. First of all, the vast majority of you do not know how to cook a lobster; but even an acceptably un-rubbery "bug" (yes, they are bugs) is notable mostly for an oft-praised "butteriness" that I find somehow... noveau riche. I realize that sounds impossibly snobbish, but I grew up in a lobster-fishing town, and tired of the local wares at an early age.

If you're sqeamish about killing lobster, well, I can't help you, but you should read Steingarten's discussion of the various ways to kill a lobster, and their drawbacks, in It Must Have Been Something I Ate, 344 ff. And if you want to cook lobster, please consult Jasper White (even though he's from Jersey).


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