US food chain Red Lobster sold for a colossal $2.1 billion last month. For a shellfish with such humble origins, that’s a lot of dollar. You see, up until the 19th century, American lobster was a sign of abject poverty. So plentiful was this hard-bellied crustacean that they often washed ashore, covering the Massachusetts Bay Colony in heaps two-foot high. It was only later, after serving as fertiliser, fish bait and as a low-priced canned food that lobster started to gain culinary momentum.
While historians champion improved transport links and tourism for the rise, it’s still astonishing to think that the lobster managed to claw its way up to ‘delicacy’ status. Today its fans range from stay-at-home mums to bon vivant twenty somethings – and so far they’ve amassed over 730,000 (and counting) hashtags on Instagram. But is it really as tasty as those stylish filter-enhancing snaps would have us believe? As one of the last remaining shellfish virgins in London, I went to find out. Read more