After yesterday, I started brooding over the history of lobster and how it got from poverty food to delicacy. (I know, I know. You'd think I could come up with a better topic to brood over, but I'm sure tomorrow it will be something else - aluminum manufacture, goat breeding in Manchuria, the use of citrus fruits in traditional holiday food. You know. Important stuff.) So I hit Google.
There's a good article here, more about the history of lobstering than lobster as food, but it repeats what I said yesterday about how servants put it in their contracts to not eat lobster more than three days a week. But somehow it jumps from the status of lobster as food fed to prisoners in the 1800s, to how lobster wasn't rationed in WW2 because it was considered a delicacy.
I wanna know when and why people decided they were a big deal and fancy and upper-class dinner party food.
Reading over at Food Timeline, where I should have gone in the first place (I fucking love that web site) mentions that in Europe it was always a delicacy, and it was in the New World/N America that people considered it very common in all senses of the word. I'm sure supply and demand had a great deal to do with that; if you can gather them for free off the beach (which was done in the colonial era) it's going to be taken for granted.
Further poking around isn't revealing much. It looks like rich folks inland decided they liked it, started paying exorbitant amounts to have them shipped, and it suddenly became the cool new food to eat. Viola. Instant delicacy. Modern advertisers would be proud. This whole process happened between the 1850s and WW2. Not finding any details on it.
I'll stop now, before you all send me hate mail about finding the history of lobster on a knitting blog. Hahaha.