A Global History
Distributed for Reaktion Books
A Global History
Other than that it tastes delicious with butter, what do you know about the knobbily-armoured, scarlet creature staring back at you from your fancy dinner plate? Food writer Elisabeth Townsend here charts the global rise of the lobster as delicacy.
Part of the Edible Series, Lobster: A Global History explores the use and consumption of the lobster from poor man’s staple to cultural icon. From coastal fishing in the Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution and modern times, Townsend describes the social history of the consumption of lobsters around the world. As well, the book includes beautiful images of rarely seen lobsters and both old and contemporary lobster recipes.
Whether you want to liberate lobsters from their supermarket tanks or crack open their claws, this is an essential read, describing the human connection to the lobster from his ocean home to the dinner table.
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144 pages | 40 color plates, 10 halftones | 4 3/4 x 7 3/4 | © 2011
“Elisabeth Townsend’s concise but rich Lobster: A Global History offers a journey through lobster’s prehistoric and recorded history, exploring scientific, environmental and culinary matters. . . . She also does an outstanding job of documenting and explaining the modern controversy over the treatment of lobster: Is boiling alive inhumane, for instance, and if so what method might be better? . . . Most of all, [this books reminds] us that our long relationship with lobsters is tied up with our relationships with one another.” —Jasper White, Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
“We are quite taken with the short but engagingly readable Edibles series of handsome little books on basic, well, edibles, as in the cultural and global history of one type of food or beverage. Originating in England from Reaktion Books but written by foodie journalists or food science academics on both sides of the Atlantic, these spritely, much-illustrated books are a peruser’s delight.”
“A fun, smartly written series appropriate for a popular audience that likes to eat . . . the Edible series books provide level-headed and enjoyable overviews of food culture . . . These will create a little library that any foodie will be proud to show off . . . aesthetically pleasing volumes with decent content that would make good presents.”—Winterthur Portfolio, on the Edible series
“A frothy confection of lobster history, lore, and art, with an emphasis on cooking and consuming the crustaceans. There are plenty of entertaining moments.”
“Elisabeth Townsend considers the creature that inspired mosaic artists in ancient Pompeii, reclined like a cardinal in still life paintings, gave Salvador Dalí a telephone handle, fed the indigent poor and later the spoiled rich and became a partial success in shellfish farming. . . . Reading its 128 pages inclusive of recipes will leave almost anyone considerably more clued up about lobsters than they were before.”
Fay Maschler | Spectator
Table of Contents
1. From Fertilizer to the Dinner Table
2. From Main Course to Mass Market
3. Lobster Takes Centre Stage
4. Lobster Controversies
5. Killing and Cooking (Humanely)
6. The Future of Lobsters
Websites and Associations