On French menus, the European lobster, the homard, will often be called the homard bleu, the blue lobster. European lobsters are mostly blue or blackish-blue when taken from the sea, hence this French name. After cooking, the European lobsters turn red just like their American cousins. Within France, it is accepted that the best lobsters come from Brittany, and that explains another of the European Lobster’s names, the Homard Breton.
Now readily available but still a luxury, the lobster was a favourite with Victorian period chefs catering for state banquets, ball suppers and society dinners. Theodore Garrett’s six-part Encyclopedia of Practical Cookery (1892), aimed at restaurant and hotel chefs, contains 71 lobster recipes. His Aspic of Lobster involves layering lobster spawn, butters and slices in an intricate tower of jelly. Display dining, moreover, demanded display cutlery. In the latter part of the century, inventors registered patents for intricately engraved lobster crackers, the must-have implement for stylish Victorian tables.
One of our all-time favourite pictures;, such a wonderful subject and so beautifully depicted.