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American crawfish
Lobster Fra Diavolo
Lobster Newberg
Lobster recipes timeline
Lobster rolls
Lobster Thermidor
Rock lobster
Crab cakes
Crab dip
Crab rangoon
Crab soup

Shrimp cocktail
Shrimp scampi
Shrimp wiggle

Angels on Horseback
Hangtown Fry
oyster ice cream
Oyster stew
Oyster stuffing
Oysters Kirkpatrick
Oysters Rockefeller
Clam bakes
Clams Casino
Fish & chips
Friday franks
Seven Fishes
Shark's fin

Mock turtle soup
Turtle soup

Archaeologists tell us humans have been eating crustaceans (lobsters, crabs, shrimp) from prehistoric times to present. They know this from excavating "middens," deposits of shells and bones left by early civilizations. These foods weren't "discovered" (like early people "discovered" some corn popped if placed near the fire) but noticed. The earliest hunter-gatherers took advantage of every available food resource. People who lived near water (oceans, seas, lakes, rivers) naturally took advantage of the foods offered by these resources.

About lobster

Culinary evidence confirms lobsters were known to ancient Romans and Greeks. The were highly esteemed by the British, not so esteemed by American colonists. This sea creature enjoyed a resurgence of demand in the 19th century which still holds true today.

"Lobster, well-armed sea creature. Its most noticeable external traits were its long hands and small feet' (Archestratus), its bent fingers (Epicharmus) and its dark color (Pliny). It is very good, albeit somewhat complicated, to eat; simpler for the eventual diner if the cook minces the meat and forms it into cakes, as described in Apicius...The lobster (Homarus Gammarus) is Greek askakos..., Latin astacus and elephantus; the latter name is seldom attested in classical texts but was certainly in use, since it survives in modern Italian dialects."
---Food in the Ancient World From A-Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 198)

"So the Romans who came to Britain [43 AD] and who lived within reach of the sea must have been very happy to enjoy the local seafhish...seafoods such as crab and lobster were taken. Shellfish of many kinds became very popular" (p. 21) "Lobster, crayfish and crab were greatly enjoyed [in mid-fifteenth century Britain], though they seldom reached the inland eater...Crab and lobster were also boiled and eaten cold with vinegar, as were shrimps." (P. 43) "During the eighteenth century...Lobsters, crabs, shrimps and prawns continued to be enjoyed." (p. 48-9) "In Victorian times...Lobster, crabs, shrimps and prawns could be dressed in many ways, but the commonest was to boil them to eat cold. After being simmered in a brine of water and Bay salt in a fish kettle, lobsters could either be eaten immediately, or kept as long as a quarter of a year, wrapped in brine-soaked rags and buried deep in sand." (p. 55)
---Food and Drink in Britain: From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago] 1991

"Lobster, much as today, was considered especially elegant and appropriate food for lovers, being an aphrodesiac. There is a common perception that lobster was considered a poor man's food, and this many have been in the case in colonial New England but not back in Europe. In fact English man-about-town Samuel Pepys's diary records than an elegant dinner he thew in 1663 included a fricassee of rabbit and chickens, carp, lamb, pigeons, various pies and four lobsters..Lobster was cooked either by roasting, boiling or by removing the meat from the shell and cooking it separately."
---Food in Early Modern Europe, Ken Albala [Greenwood Press:Westport CT] 2003 (p. 75)

"The American lobster (Homarus americanus) is today on of the more expensive food items on the market, owing to the difficulty of obtaining sufficeint quantities to meet the demand. But when the first Europeans came to America, the lobster was one of the most commonly found crustaceans. They sometimes washed up on the beaches of Plymouth, Massachusetts, in piles of two feet high. These settlers approached the creatures with less than gustator enthusiasm, but the lobsters' abundance mande them fit for the tables of the poor...In 1622 Governor William Bradford of the Plymouth Plantation apologized to a new arrival of settlers that the only dish he "could presente their friends with was a lobster...without bread or anyhting else but a cupp of fair water." Lobsters in those days grew to a tremendous size, sometimes forty or more pounds...The taste for lobster developed rapidly in the nineteenth century, and commercial fisheries specializing in the crustacean were begun in Maine in the 1840s, thereby giving rise to the fame of the "Maine lobster," which was being shipped around the world a decade later. In 1842 the first lobster shipments reached Chicago, and Americans enjoyed them both at home and in the cities' new "lobster palaces," the first of which was built in New York by the Shanley brothers...Diamond Jim Brady thought nothing of downing a half-dozen in addition to several other full courses...By 1885 the American lobster industry was providing 130 million pounds of lobster per year. So afterward the population of the lobster beds decreased rapidly, and by 1918 only 33 million pounds were taken."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Freidman:New York] 1999 (p. 186)
[NOTE: This book has separate entries for selected popular dishes: Lobster rolls, lobster Newburg, lobster a l'americaine, and lobster fra diavolo. If you need these ask your librarain to help you find a copy.]

"In 1621 Edward Winslow reported to a friend back in England concerning the Plymouth settlement that "our Bay is full of Lobsters all the Summer." In Salem a few years later, Francis Higginson observed that "the least Boy in the Plantation may both catch and eat what he will of" lobters. Lobsters were not only plentiful in early New England, they were large.Higginson reported some weighing twenty-five pounds. But lobsters were not always a welcome sight on early colonial tables. As noted above, in 1623 Governor Bradford complained of having only lobster to serve visitors...Early New Englanders would have been perplexed to find lobsters grouped, as they were by one twentieth-century writer, with caviar and filet mignon...No delicacy, American lobsters were nonetheless better received than many shellfish. They were soon being cooked much the same way as their smaller European counterparts, in sauces for other fish, or as accompaniments to roasts...When not potting lobsters, baking them in pies or using them in sauces, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century New England cooks were apt to stew or fricassee them...Boiled lobsters were served cold with dressing, not hot and "in the rough," as we are most likely to encounter them today. In the 1840s, [Catharine] Beecher...presented boiled lobster served in this fashion...The American taste for lobster was on the rise...When nineteeth-century canning methods, developed around 1840 and perfected during the Civil War, were redirected toward peacetime activities, lobsters were among the most popular canned products. By 1880, there were twenty-three lobster canneries in Maine...Fresh lobsters, made more widely available by improved transportation, were increasingly preferred."
---America's Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking, Keith Stavely & Kathleen Fitzgerald [University of North Carolina Press:Chapel Hill NC] 2004 (P. 102-4)

Is it true that in Colonial New England it was against the law to serve lobster more than three times a week to servants? No. Food historian Sandy Oliver elucidates:

"The lobster and salmon story is one of the most frequently told about New England seafood. It generally goes like this: Salmon and lobster "used to be so abundant that, it is said, " pick one---the apprentices, servants, boarders, lumbermen, occupants, prisoners, and slaves of-pick another--Newcastle, England, Boston or Lowell, Massachusetts, Puget Sound, Bristol, Rhode Island, Islesboro, Maine, the Maine State Prison, or the South-refused to eat either lobsters or salmon, more than twice a week. Recent versions of the story usually feature lobster, but the vast majority of accounts prefer salmon. All the stories have in common some group of people who have no control over their food choices, people who have to eat what is served them. The stories all explain that these sufferers had a meeting to form a complaint presented to an official in charge. The story, substantiated only by reference to an alleged expert who "has it on good authority" or words to that effect, is usually put in the context of former natural abundance. So the tale is reported second hand, refers to a time from fifty to one hundred years earlier than the usual late 1800s publishing date. The most common sources for this particular tale are town histories which abounded in the nineteenth century often written by a local antiquarian, though it appears also in George Brown Goode's The Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States published in 1887. Lack of primary evidence is the main reason to doubt this story. No minutes of these indignation meetings, nor ordinances outlawing sea food more than twice a week, have ever emerged. But why salmon, why lobster, why twice a week? The stories appear when salmon or lobster are becoming historically scarce, when the author wants to recall a distant, more abundant past. Twice a week was for many in early England or the colonies, the number of fast days a week on which one customarily ate fish. As Protestantism neglected religious fasts marked by fish consumption, the idea of having to eat fish more than one's religion formerly required sounded like an imposition on people who always preferred meat to fish."
The Truth About Spices, Lobsters, and Flaming Ladies, Sandy Oliver

Lobstering in the New World

About Maine lobsters
Lobsters:Everything You Wanted to Know/Maine Dept. of Marine Resources
---history, statisitcs, biology, environmental impact, laws
Maine Lobster Promotion Council (history, statistics, trends)
The Lobster Institute, University of Maine.

Recommended reading: Lobster: A Global History, Elisabeth Townsend [Edible Series, 2011]

Rock lobster (aka crayfish)

Rock lobster is another name for spiny lobster, a popular warm-water crustacaen. In some parts of the world it is also known as crayfish or crawfish, which accounts for the confusion between rock lobster and American crawfish. Old World crayfish are the primary flavoring in Sauce Nantua.

"Rock lobster. Apparently Americans find the name crawfish a gastronomic turn-off, for when theis crustacean appears on restaurant menus or is canned or frozen for sale, it often goes under the disguise of rock lobster (originally an alternative name for the spiny lobster)."
---An A to Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 284)

"Spiny lobster, the correct name for crustaceans of the family Paniluridae, is prefereable to the name crawfish which is sometimes used by invited confusion with crayfish. Needless to say, using the name crayfish or cray, as sometimes in Australia, is even more likely to cause confustion. The spiny lobsters are indubitably lobsters, bu they differ from the archetypal lobsters of the N. Atlantic in having no claws and in belonging to warmer waters. Indeed they are most abundant in the tropics...Their size and the excellence of their meat ensures that they are in strong demand, although the question whether they are better than or inferior to the common lobster is and will no doubt for ever be debated. Such debate is complicated by the fact that the established recipes for the Atlantic lobster, generally speaking, have been those of classical French cuisine plus the more robust tradtitions evolved in N. America; whereas the spiny lobster, with its worldwide range in warmer waters, has attracted to itself a large number of recipes involving tropical or subtropical ingredients."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 747)

"...millions of other lobsters come from South Africa, South America, Mexico, Australia, and elsewhere, usually in the form of "spiny lobsters," sometimes called "crawfish" but distinct from the true native freshwater crayfish...Spiny lobster. (Panlirus argus). A favorite Floridian species, the spiny lobster ranges from the Carolinas to the Caribbean and is related to a Californian species., P. Interruptus. At market, spiny lobsters are often called "rock lobsters."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 186-7)

"Rock lobster. A market name for the spiny lobster. Large quantities of South African and Australian "rock lobsters" are imported to the U.S. annually, as our demand exceeds the local supply. They are also imported from Chile and New Zealand. Although these imports represent a different genus (Jasus), they are of the same family and form a culinary standpoint are no different from a spiny lobster taken in North American waters...Spiny lobster: In the western Atlantic the spiny lobster...ranges from North Carolina and Bermuda to Brazil, through the southern Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. It is most abundant in Florida, Bahamas, Cuba and British Honduras...Closely related species occur in California. Sometimes called crawfish, and misleadingly crayfish, the spiny lobster like other members of this family (Palinuridae) has 5 pairs of legs but no claws. Thus, its tail portion provides the bulk of the meat. Compared to the American lobster its texture is coarser but of good flavor and tender when freshly prepared. Although 6 species of spiny lobster occur in the western Atlantic, the differences are taxonomical rather than culinary, and they are all generally similer in appearance; numerous spines cover the body, with 2 large, hooked horns over the eyes...It is a beautifully marked crustacean with browns, yellows, orange, green and blue mottled over the upper parts and underside of the tail...Spiny lobster tails can be boiled, steamed, deep-fried or broiled, or the raw meat can be removed for the shell and used in any of the prepared dishes such a scurries, thermidors, newburgs or salads. Never bake it, as the musculature will tighten like a drumhead."
---The Encyclopedia of Fish Cookery, A.J. McClane [Holt, Rinehart and Winston:New York] 1977 (p. 177-9)


"Crayfish. Also, "crawfish," "crawdad," crawdaddy," and "Florida lobster." Any of these various freshwater crustaceans of the genera Canbarus and Astacus. Although considerably smaller, the crayfish remembles the lobster, and there are 250 species and subspecies found in North America alone. The name is from Middle English crevise, and, ultimately, from Frankish krabtija. Crayfish formed a significant part of the diet of the Native Americans of the South and still hold their highest status among the Cajuns of Louisiana. Louisanans have an enourmous passion and appetitie for what they call "crawfish" (a name used by Captain John Smith as early as 1615)...The crayfish figures in Louisiana folklore, and the natives hold "crayfish boils" whenever the crustacean is in season. Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, calls itself the "Crawfish Capitol of the World" and to prove it, cooking up crayfish in pies, gumbos, stews, and every other way imaginable. Yet one would not easily find a crawfish on restaurant menus in Louisiana much before 1960 because they were considered a common food to be eaten at home. Crayfish are commercially harvested in waters of the Mississippi basin, most of them of the Red Swamp and white River varieties, with the season running approximately form Thanksgiving Day to the Fourth of July..."Cajun popcorn" is a dish of battered, deep-fried crayfish popularized by Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme in the 1980s."
---ibid (p. 105)

Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival


[1AD, Ancient Rome]
Apicius (1st-4th century AD) includes recipes for broiled lobster [398], boiled lobster with cumin sauce [399], Another lobster dish--mince of the tail meat [400], boiled lobster (with pepper, cumin, rue, honey vinegar, broth and oil) [401] and lobster with wine [402].
---Apicius Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome, edited and translated by Joseph Dommers Vehling [General Publishing:Ontario] 1977 (p. 210-211)

[1475, Italy]
Platina offers instructions for cooking sea lobsters.
---On right Pleasure and Good Health, Platina, critical edition and translation by Mary Ella Milham [Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies:Tempe AZ] 1998 (p. 449)

[1685, London]
Robert May's Accomplist Cook includes these lobster recipes: To Stew Lobsters, To Hash Lobsters, To Boil Lobsters to eat cold in the common way, To keep Lobsters a quarter of a year very good, To Farce Lobster, To marinate Lobsters, To broil Lobsters, To broil Lobsters on paper, To roast Lobsters, To fry Lobsters, To bake Lobsters to be eaten hot, To pickle Lobsters, To jelly Lobsters, Craw-fish, or Prawns.
---The Accomplisht Cook, Robert May, facsimile 1685 edition [Prospect Books:Devon] 2000 (p. 401-409)

[1747, London]
Hannah Glasse was one of the most popular cookbook authors on the 18th century. Her lobster recipes included: buttered, fine dish of, in fish sauce, pie, potted and roast.
---The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 61, 94-5, 115, 117)

[1845, London]
Eliza Acton wrote cookbooks for the new Victorian middle class. Her lobster recipes include: to boil, boudinettes of, buttered, cutlets, cutlets, Indian, fricasseed, hot, patties, potted, salad, sausages.
---Modern Cookery of Private Families, Eliza Acton [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1994 (p. 91-4, 133,136)

[1884, Boston]
Mrs. D. A. Lincon authored the first Boston Cooking School Cook Book. Her index lists: Lobster bisque, chowder, creamed, croquettes, curried, cutlets, devilled, plain, salad, sauce, scalloped, soup, and stewed. She also include instructions for choosing and opening lobsters. Her book is online, full-text.

[NOTE: all of the above sources are recently published and readily obtainable through your local public library.]

Lobster Fra Diavolo

Where did Lobster Fra Diavolo originate? Like many popular Italian-American dishes, there are several theories. What is the true evolution of Lobster Fra Diavolo? Our survey of historic recipes suggests it might have been a complicated mix of Italian ingenuity inspired by French fare demanded by American customers. Why? Traditional Italian "diavolo" recipes employ chicken but not tomatoes. French "diable"-type recipes combine chicken and tomato puree. Lobster American style employs (in French, Englsih and American cookbooks) demands tomatoes in some form. Most, but not all, rely on cayenne pepper to invoke the *devil*. About devilled foods.

"Lobster Fra Diavolo. A recipe of elusive origin. I'd always thought lobster Fra Diavolo Italian, probably southern Italian, but I do not pretend to be an expert on thee cookingof that extraordinary country. Then, just as I was putting this book to bed, along comes a New York Times article (May 29, 1996 p. C3) suggesting that this rich dish--chunks of lobster, still in the shell, bedded on pasta and smothered with a spicy tomato sauce--was created early this century by Italian immigrants in or around New York City. Like spaghetti and meatballs...Florence Fabricant...doesn't proclaim that lobster Fra Diavolo is American. Instead, she queries the experts, such respected writers on and teachers of Italian cooking as Marcella Hazan...Hazan remembers eating Lobster Fra Diavolo in 1940 at Grotta Azzura, a restaurant opened in New York's Little Italy in 1908..."I remember the dish clearly," Farbicant quotes Hazan as saying, "because it was so heavy and typical of Italian cooking in America. We con't eat like that in Italy." Anna Teresa Callen concurs. "It's not an Italian dish,"..."It's really another Italian-American invention. I have never seen it in Italy and suspect that it came from Long Island." Bugialli, like Hazan and Callen, scoffs at the notion that Lobster Fra Diavolo is an Italian classic. "We don't even have American lobsters in Italy,"..."And a heavy tomato sauce with hot peppers, seafood, and pasta all in one dish is not Italian cooking. I think it came from a restaurant that was near the old Met, around Thirty-eighth Street and Broadway. Would that have been the old Mama Leone's? It opened behind the Met in 1906. Restauranteur Tony May, a Neapolitan, says he never heard of Lobster Fra Diavolo until he arrived in New York in 1963. He thinks Veusvio, a midtown Manhattan restaurant, might have invented it. But Frank Scognamillo, the owner of Pastys'...begs to differ. His father, Pasquale, emigrated from Naples to New York in the early 1920s and opened Patsy's in 1944, Lobster Fra Diavolo was a house specialty...Scognamillo says his father told him Lobster Fra Diavolo was a Neapolitan dish, and that like many other spicy, tomatoey recipes of southern Italy, it was handed down for generations....With all due respect to Scognamillo and Davino---I tend to think Hazan, Bugialli, Callen "and company" nearer the mark."
---The American Century Cookbook, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 117)
[NOTE: The oldest recipe we found (so far) titled "Lobster Fra Diavolo" was published in 1939.]

"Lobster fra diavolo. An Italian-American dish whose name translates as "Lobster Brother Devil" made with lobster cooked in a spicy, peppery tomato sauce. It was a creation of Southern Italian immigrants, who did not have American lobsters in Italy (in Itlay dishes termed "alla diavolo" indicate on made with a good deal of coarsley ground black pepper), and became a popular dish in Italian-American restaurants in New York by the 1940s."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 187)

The oldest print reference we have for serving Lobster fra Diavolo indicates the dish may have been served in New York City, 1908:
"One of the best restaurants in the city specializing in Italian food--and one of the oldest, since it was founded in 1908, is Enrico & Paglieri, 66 West Eleventh Stree, in Greenwich Village...Back in the days when Enrico and his partner, Paul Paglieri, who died many years ago, started their venture, the menu seldom varied from minestrone, lobster diavolo and chicken. This was a concession to the customers of the time, who clamored for those dishes, Enrico explains, and how, incidentally paid only 55 cents for a complete meal, including a bottle of wine."
---"News of Food: Italian Meals Served in Outdoor Setting in Restaurant Opened in 'Village' in 1908," New York Times, June 24, 1946 (p. 34)
[NOTE: Is it possible Enrico & Paglieri's was referring to French cuisine when he said his customers were clamoring for *this* type of food? James Beard's classic recipe c. 1961 offers a compelling argument.]

"One of the most discussed questions on gastronomy is the case of lobster a l'americaine. For a long time specialists have maintained, since no American dish has ever seen the fire of French stoves, that this dish must be called lobster a l'armoricaine, "Armorique" being the ancient name for Brittany. Now it would appear that if by definition a regional dish is one composed of local products--the vegetables, the fish, and the wines--it is difficult to understand why Brittany, with its scarcity of tomatoes, not too plentiful Cognac, supplying only the lobster, could claim the credit for the dish. Also, the great chefs have continued to baptize the dish homard a l'americaine. If we believe the latter version, accepted in the realm of Good Cheer, this fanciful name was one invented on spot to suit the occasion. This dish apparently saw the light of day before 1870, in Noel Peter restaurant in Paris, where chef Fraisse commanded the cooking brigade after the dinner hour and just before closing, demanding and insisting that Peters serve them dinner. The only things the kitchen could provide at this late hour were some live lobsters--and there was no time to cook them in court-bouillon. A flash of inspiration, and a new dish was born. The enthusiastic and grateful guests demanded to know the name of this new dish. Peters, still under the influence of hsi recent trip to America, replied off-hand and with out thinking: "Le homard a l'americaine." is now proven and accepted that a Parisian restaurant was the cradle of this dish..."
---Traditional Recipes of the Provinces of France, selected by Curnonsky, translated and edited by Edwin Lavin [Les Productions de Paris:Paris] 1961 (p. 24)

Knife and Fork in New York: Where to Eat-What to Order, Lawton Mackall [Doubleday & Company:Garden City NY] 1949 (2nd edition) confirms Mr. Mariani's observations. This books was the "Zagats" of its day. It is interesting to note entries for Enrico & Paglieri's, Vesuvio's, Leone's or Paty's (see Jean Anderson's reference above) do not mention this dish. Fra Diavolo menu items were noted in these restaurants:

Serving up these recipes for your examination:

"Lobster a L'Americaine

Cut some broiled lobster tails into scollops 1/4 inch thick; set them in a circle in a silver casserole;
Make some sauce as follows:
Wash and chop some shalots; fry them in butter for two minutes; moisten with French white wine; and cook them;
The add equal quantities of Espagnole Sauce, and Tomato Puree, and a little Cayenne pepper; and reduce the sauce for five minutes;
Fill the centre of the casserole with the fleish of the claws cut in small dice, and mixed in some of the sauce; pour the remainder of the sauce over the scollops; put the casserole in the oven for ten minutes, to warm the lobster; and serve." ---The Royal Cookery Boook, Jules Gouffe, translated by Alphone Gouffe [Sampson Low, Son, and Marston:London] 1869 (p. 446)

Lobster a l'Americaine, Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Mrs. D.A. Lincoln

"Pollo al Diavolo (Chicken Devil Style)

It is called this because it is supposed to be seasoned with strong cayenne pepper and served in a very spicy sauce, so that whoever eats it feels his mouth on fire and is tempted to send both the chicken and whoever cooked it to the devil. I shall give a simplr, more civilized way to prepare it: Take a cockerel or young chicken, remove the head, neck and feet, and, after cutting it open all the way down the front, flatten it out as much as you can. Wash and dry it well with a kitchen towel, then place it on the grill. When it begins to brown, turn it over, brush with melted butter or olive oil and season with salt and pepper. When the other side begins to brown, turn the chicken over again and repeat the procedure. Continue to baste and season as necessary until done. Cayenne pepper is sold as red powder, which comes from England in little glass bottles."
---Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well, Pellegrino Artusi, originally c. 1891, translated by Murtha Baca and Stephen Sartarelli [Marsilio Publshers:New York] 1997 (p. 377)

"Lobster, American Style.

procure two good sized freshly boiled lobsters and split them, removing all of the meat very carefully, and cut it up into pieces about an inch in length; and have in readiness a pan on top of a range half full of good olive oil, and when the oil has become very hot add pieces of the lobster. Chop very fine one peeled onion, one green pepper, and half a peeled clove, some sound garlic, place it with the loster and cook for five minutes, stirring all the time; season with a pinch of salt and half a saltspoonful of red pepper, to which add half a wineglassful of white wine. After two minutes' reduction add one gill of tomato sauce and a medium sized peeled tomato, cut into small dice. Continue cooking for ten minutes, gently stirring the while, then pour the whole into a hot dish or tureen and serve."
---The Cook Book by "Oscar" of the Waldorf, Oscar Tschirky [Saalfield Publsihing Company:Chicago] 1908 (p. 100)

Chicken With Sauce Piquante (Pollo alla Diavolo), Italian Cookbook, Maria Gentile, published in New York City (quite possibly the inspiration?)

"Lobster Diavalo, Renato

1 Lobster
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon parsley, minced
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup Italian peeled tomatoes
Oregano (Italian thyme)
Plunge the live lboster in salted furiously boiling water for 15 minutes; drain. Pick out meat, cook for 3 to 4 minutes in the olive oil. Add then the parsley, garlic, tomatoes and oregan; let simmer for 6 to 8 minutes. Serve piping hot."
---Long Island Seafood Cook Book, J. George Frederick, recipes edited by Jean Joyce [Business Bourse:New York] 1939 (p. 205)

"How shall this delicately flavored crustacean come to dinner?..Italian restaurants in several sections of this city, including a favorite, Da Cinta, have convinced us that hot peppers and plum tomatoes, garlic and olive oil, also are possible flavorings. In other words, if there are plenty of finger bowls, napkins and generous bibs, and if the day is not too hot for this spicy dish, then why not lobster fra diavolo?

"Lobster Fra Diavolo
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 cups canned plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
3 one-pound ("chicken") lobsters
1. Heat oil and brown garlic in it. Add other ingredients, excluding lobster. Simmer about ten minutes.
2. Place lobsters on their backs and with a sharp knife cut in half lengthwise from head to tail. Spread open. remove small sac just back of the head. Crack large claws.
3. Arrange lobsters flat in casserole, flesh side up. Pour tomato sauce over them. Bake at 400 degrees F. fifteen to twenty minutes. Yield: three to four portions."
---"News of Food: Fresh Lobsters Plentiful but not Cheap," Jane Nickerson, New York Times, May 26, 1949 (p. 37)

"Lobster Fra Diavolo

1 medium-sized lobster ( 1 1/2 lbs.)
1 clove garlic
1 cup tomatoes
1 tablespoon parsley chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pinch red pepper seeds
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper
Place lobster on back and slit lengthwise. Spread open and clean. Crack claws. Place in flat baking pan. Pour olive oil in separate pant and brown garlic. Add tomatoes, pepper seeds, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook slowly about 10 minutes. Pour sauce over lobster and bake 25 minutes in moderate oven (350 degrees F.)." ---Love and Dishes, Niccolo de Quattrociocchi [Bobbs-Merrill:Indianapolis] 1950 (p. 242)

"Lobster Alla Diavolo

2 medium lobsters (boiled)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
5 red pepper seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon meat extract, dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon flour 1/2 tablespoon prepared mustard
Cut lobster in half lengthwise and place shell side down in baking dish. Sprinkle with oil and butter and bake in hot oven 20 minutes. Serve with sauce made in the following manner: Place vinegar, pepper and red pepper seeds together in saucepan and simmer until vinegar is reduced to half quantity. Add meat extract in hot water and tomato paste to vinegar and cook 10 minutes. Mix together butter and flour, blending well, and add slowly to sauce. Mix well, add mustard and pour over baked lobsters. Serves 2 to 4."
---The Talisman Cook Book, Ada Boni, translated and augmented by Matilde Pei, special edition printed for Ronzoni Macaroni Co., Inc [Crown Publishers:New York] 1955 (p. 53)

"Lobster Fra Diavolo (Serves 4)

2 2-pound lobsters
1/2 cup of olive oil
4 tablespoons of chopped parsley (Italian parsley, if available)
1 1/2 teaspoons of oregano
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of mace
Salt and pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 1/2 cups of canned tomatoes
1/3 cup of cognac
Prepare the lobsters as for Lobster a l'Americane...Heat the olive oil in a large kettle and add the lobster pieces. Using tongs, toss them about in the hot oil until the shells are red and the meat seared. Lower the heat and let the lobster simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Add the chopped parsley, the oregano, the cloves, mace and salt and pepper to taste. Peel and chop the onion and garlic very fine and add these. Add the canned tomatoes. Mix these ingredients, cover the kettle and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently to be sure the flavorings blend. Place the lobster in the center of a large heat-proof planter and surround it with mounds of rice. Pour the sauce over the lobster and pour cognac over this. Ignite and blaze."
---The James Beard Cookbook, in collaboration with Isabel E. Callvert [E.P. Dutton:New York] 1961 (p. 149)

"Lobster a L'Americane (Serves 4)
This is a famous, classic seafood dish served in Paris and in outstanding French restaurants in New York. It's not easy to prepare but the finished product is elegant.
1 2-pound lobsters (live)
2/3 cup of olive oil
4 tablspoons of butter
1 medium onion
6 shallots or small green onions
1 clove of garlic
8 medium-sized ripe tomatoes
4 tablespoons of chopped parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons of chopped fresh, or 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried, tarragon
1 1/2 teaspon of thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups of dry white wine
4 tablespoons of tomato puree
Salt, pepper, cayenne
1/3 cup of cognac
Kill the lobsters, then split and clean according to the directions under Broiled Lobster...The remove the claws and cut the tails in sections, cutting through where the shells are jointed. Wash well. Heat the olive oil in a very large kettle and when hot add the pieces of lobster in shell. Toss them about in a hot oil, using a pair of tongs, until the shells are colored red and the lobster meat is seared. Remove the lobster pieces to a hot platter and add the butter to the oil in a kettle. Peel and chop the onion, shallots and garlic. Saute in the hot butter and oil until lightly colored. Peel, seed and chop the tomatoes and add these to the onion mixture. Add the parsley, tarragon, thyme, bay leaf and wine and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Add the tomato puree and season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne. Pour the cognac over the lobster pieces and ignite to blaze. Then return the lobster to the kettle to cook in the sauce, cover tightly and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over rice."
---ibid (p. 148)

"Broiled Lobster
Allow a 1 1/2- to 2 -pound lobster for each person. Have your fish dealer split and clean them for you (but you must cook them very soon after) or do it yourself. To clean: place the live lobster on a work board or table and using a heavy, sharp knife and mallet, insert the point of the knife between the body and tail shells and drive it through to sever the spinal cord. When the lobster stops moving, turn it over on its back and split it lengthwise from thead to tail, cutting it into two parts. Remove the stomach and intestinal tract but leave the grayish colored liver and the row, or "coral," if there is any. Brush the flesh of each half with plenty of melted butter and broil in a heated broiler for 12 to 15 minutes. Baste frequently with additional butter as the lobster cooks or it will dry out. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with melted butter and lemon wedges."
---ibid (p. 147)

"Lobster Fra Diavolo

4 lobsters (1 1/2 to 2 pounds each)
8 fresh parsley sprigs, leaves only
1 clove, mashed
1/2 cup fresh sweet butter
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 pound onions, peeled and diced
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/3 teaspoon greshly ground black pepper
4 cups warm Marinara sauce (p. 94)
1 pound spaghettini
Split the lobsters lengthwise down the middle. Renmove head sacs and intestinal beins and discard. Chop parsley and garlic together. Combine butter and olive oil in a large skippet and heat. Add onions and sautee slowly to medium brown. Ad lobsters, meat side down, and saute for 10 minutes. Turn lobsters, add parsledy and garlic, and stir well. Cook for 10 minutes. Add salt, red and black pepper, and marinara sauce. Stir, cover, and cook for 10 minutes longer. Uncover and cook slowly for another 20 minutes. Have boiling salted water ready; add the spaghettini and cook for about 10 minutes, or until done to your taste. Serve spaghettini on same plate with the lobster and spoon the sauce over all. Serve a chilled Chiaretto del Garda or Soave. Serves 4 to 6."
---Leone's Italian Cookbook, Gene Leone [Harper & Row Publishers:New York] 1967 (p. 119)

Lobster Newberg
Lobster Newburg first surfaces in the 1880s. Its was among the most popular dishes served in the American Pavilion at the
Paris Exposition of 1900 and the Columbian Exposition in Chicago 1893. Where did this dish originate and how did it get its name? There are several interesting versions of the "official" story. Most agree on two points: the restaurant making this dish famous (Delmonico's) and the person for whom the dish was named (Ben Wenberg). The story of tbe morphing from "Wenberg" to "Newburg" is fuzzy. This entertaining yarn provides the most detail:

"Of all the 'characters' who passed through Delmonico's hospitable doors--at Fourtheenth Street and also at Twenty-sixt--few were as odd, and none was so unlucky, as the man who just missed having his name on the tongues of millions through generations unborn. Ben Wenberg was a sea captain engaged in the fruit trade between Cuba and New York. When on shore, he bivouacked at Delmonico's. In regard to his food and attire he was extremely fastidious: no salty pea jacket or rakis nautical cap for him; he was a dandy. His usual costume was a long Prince Albert coat of fine cloth with a diagonal weave, pantaloons tailored snug and shaped to his instep, high-heeled boots with pointed toes made of glove leather to his order by Adam Young, the fashionable bootmaker, and the latest thing on shiny toppers crowning his iron-grey curly hair. Ben Wenberg allowed no one to come between him and the table; yet though he ate industriously, he was as thin as a rail. One day in 1876, home from a cruise, he entered a cafe at Madison Square and announced that he had brough back a new way to cook lobster. Calling for a blazer (a chafing dish with spirit lamp), he demonstrated his discovery by cooking the dish beside his tale, and invited Charles Delmonico ('Old Charley') to taste. Charles said, 'Delicious!' and forthwith entered the dish on the restaurant menu, naming it in honor of its inventor, or at least its introducer to New York, Lobster a la Wenberg. It caught the public fancy and became a standby of the after-theater suppers that were in vogue, and Wenberg preened himself upon having perpetuated his name to the remotest posterity. Unfortunately, he and 'Charley' had a falling out. The cause is not known, but the consequence was devastating to Wenberg's expectations of gastronomic immortality. Charles erased the dish from the menu; but since patrons kept calling for it, he was forced to compromise. By typographical sleight-of-hand, he reversed the spelling of 'Wen" to 'New" and Lobster a la Newberg was born. Such was the power of Delmonico. A man who witnessed Ben's initial preparation of the dish recounted the scene thirty years afterwards, and recalled particularly that at the end Wenberg took from his pocket a small flask, and shook into the pan a little of the reddish powder it contained--the inevitable 'secret ingredient.' Delmonico's cooks were satisfied that the stuff was only cayenne pepper, though Ben never told. This same witness of Wenberg's first demonstration maintained that the dish, when 'made to perfection,' should contain only 'lobster, sweet cream, unsalted butter, French congac, dry Spanish sherry, and cayenne pepper.' The recipe standardized by Charles Ranhofer departed from this formula, and for those who may wonder how Lobster a la Newberg (or a la Delmonico, as it was interechangeably called) was prepared at its birthplace, here is the Delmonico recipe ver batim." [See recipes below, 1967]
---Delmonico's: A Century of Splendor, Lately Thomas [Houghton Mifflin Company:Boston] 1967 (p. 220-222)

The more popular version of this story casts Ben Wenburg as a business man who requests his name not be connected with the dish:

"If you are a gourmet you like lobster. The man who made lobster a la Newburg famous refused to have his name to with it. He gave Delmonico the recipe, and Del gave the delicacy the name it bears today, while that of the benefactor is never heard outside of the little circle in which he lived. Well, the creator of the dish was Benjamin Wenburg, a New York broker. He used to take his luncheons at Delmonico's downtown place, not many blocks from the Battery. When he told Del how to make lobster a la Newburg--it had no name then--Del put it on his bill and called it lobster a la Wenburg. Wenburg got angy about it and told Delmonico if he didn't remove his name he would feed elsewhere. The big caterer reversed the first syllable and the title has been what you have been accustomed to see ever since."
---"Naming a Famous Dish," Monticello Express [IA], April 25, 1917 (p. 10)

Other "creation" stories credit Delmonico chefs inventing this dish for regular customer Wenberg, naming it in his honor. Wenberg refused. Presumably, there was a disagreement between Wenberg and someone at Delmonico's but the details are lost.

What's the true story? We may never know. It strikes us unlikely that any patron, no matter how talented in the culinary arts, would publicly introduce a a dish at Delmonico's. But it was a different time and place and anything is possible. The fact that none of these stories agree on the correct spelling of Benjamin Wenburg/Wenberg's (Newberg/Newburg) name may or may not mean anything. Style manuals with standardized spelling are a relatively new concept in media reportage. Sometimes, like familiar tales recounted at family meals, it makes more sense to understand the glory of the story. One fact is certain: tableside chafing dish recipes reigned supreme in this period. What better way to promote any dish than to engage a fanciful story featuring one of the world's most renown restaurants? Lobster Newburg's real legacy is staying power. Brilliant!

We find no print references/recipes for chafing dish lobster Wenberg/Wenburg to date. The New York Public Library's historic menu collection returns the earliest print reference, for Terrapine a la Newburg, served at Delmonicos c. 1884. No recipe; we cannot confirm if this item was similar to later iterations. The earliest Lobster Newburg recipe we've found to date was published in 1887. Newspapers confirm the popularity of the dish: "The demonstration lesson at the Boston Cooking School Wednesday morning...Lobster Newberg" (Boston Daily Globe, April 4, 1899 (p. 4). The dish appears regularly on fine dining menus, along with Turtle Soup and other delicacies. This article pokes fun at this trendy dish by defining it: "Lobster-Newberg--A dish ordered at hotels by those who usually get beans at home." ("Foolish Dictionary," Los Angeles Times, July 10, 1904 p. B8).

"A Good Way to Prepare a Lobster

Put into a saucepan butter the size of a small egg, and a teaspoonful of minced onion. When it has cooked, sprinkle in a tea- spoonful of flour, which cook also; then stir in on e cupful of the water in which the lobster was boiled, one cupful of milk, one cupful of strong veal or beef stock, pepper, and salt; add the meat of the boiled lobster, and when quite hot pour all in the centre of a hot platter. Decorate the dish with the lobster's head in the centre, fried-bread diamonds (croutons) around the outside; or in any prettier way you choose, with the abundant resources of lobster legs and trimmings."
---Practical Cooking and Dinner Giving, Mrs. Mary F. Henderson [Harper & Brothers:New York] 1883 (p. 118-119)

"Creamed Lobster.
--For one pint of lobster meat cut fine, make one pint of white sauce...Season with salt, cayenne, and lemon. Heat the lobster in the sauce but do not let it boil. Serve on toast."
---Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book, Mrs. D.A. Lincoln [Roberts Brothers:Boston] 1884, 1889 (p. 183)

"Lobster Newburg.

If provision is to be made for six or eight persons, use the meat of a lobster weighing about four pounds, or that of two small lobsters, four table-spoonfuls of butter, two of brandy, two of sherry, two teaspoonfuls of salt, one-fourth of a teaspoonful of pepper, half a pint of cream, the yolks of four eggs, and a slight grating of nutmeg. Cut the meat of the lobster into small, delicate slices. Put the butter on the stove in a frying-pan, and when it becomes hot, put in the lobster. Cook slowly for five minutes; then add the salt, pepper, sherry, brandy and nutmeg, and simmer five minutes longer. Meanwhile beat the yolks of the eggs well, and add the cream to them. Pour the liquid over the cooking mixture, and stir constantly for one minute and a half. Take from the fire immediately at the end of that time, and serve in a warm dish. Lobster Newburg may be served as a fish course in a dinner or luncheon. A garnish of trianguar bits of puff paste may be added, or the lobster may be served on toast. No mode of cooking lobster gives a more delicate or elegant dish. Special care must be taken to stir the mixture constantly after the cream and beaten eggs are poured over the lobster until the frying-pan is taken from the fire."
---Miss Parloa's Kitchen Companion, Maria Parloa [Estes and Lauriat:Boston] 1887 (p. 225)

"Shrimp a la Newburg

From Mrs. Harriet T. Upton, of Ohio, Alternate Lady Manager.
One tablespoon butter; when hot add one tablespoon flour, four tablespoons cream stirred together; yolks of two eggs, add salt, red pepper and mace; bring to a scalding point, add shrimps and four tablespoons of sherry; serve at once."
---Favorite Dishes: A Columbian Autograph Souvenir Cookery Book, compiled by Carrie V. Schuman, facsimile 1893 edition [University of Illinios Press:Urbana] 2001 (p. 208)

Ranhofer's recipe
Lobster a la Newberg or Delmonico.

Compare with this popular home version:

Lobster a la Newburg ---"Relishes: Cooking The at Table--Variety and Abundance," Dora M. MOrrell, Los Angeles Times, February 11, 1894 (p. 21) [NOTE: This article also offers a recipe for Clams a l Newburg.]

Fannie Merritt Farmer's
1896 cookbook distinguishes between Lobster a la Delmonico and Lobster a la Newburg: (select "next page" for Newburg recipe)

"Newburg Sauce

Newberg dishes, such as fish, lobster, shrimp, crayfish or crabmeat, are merely reheats--all heated up in a Newburg sauce. This popular sauce is 100 per cent French, although its name is American. The Frenc chef of the old Delmonico's in New York was the one who originally conceived this culinary creation. The name of the town up on the Hudson River had no connection whatsoever with this sauce. Delmonico's wanted to honor one of its best cash customers, by the name of Wenburg, and named this sauce in his honor. Mr. Wenburg accepted only on the condition that the three letters of the first syllable of his name be reversed--hence Newburg. The original recipe was first intended for lobster, but like many others, this sauce may be used for almost any kind of reheated food, including fish, meats, eggs, game, and vegetables. Here is the original recipe as prepared by its creater, French Chef Pascal of the Old Delmonico's:

Cut a live lobster into small pieces and saute it in 2 generous tablespoons of sweet butter. Remove the lobster to a hot platter and keet it hot. To the butter and lobster juices remaining in the pan, add 2 tablespoons of sherry wine, and scrape and stir at the same time, from bottom and sides of the frying pan, so as to remove all the gelatinous particles which may adhere (the French culinary term for this procedure is called 'deglace'). Then, slowly stir in 1 cup of hot, sweet, heavy cream, blending thoroughly. Let this simmer very gently for 15 minutes; strain through a fine sieve into a saucepan; return to a gentle flame, and allow the sauce to reduce to half its original volume, stirring occasionally; then stir in 1/2 cup of hot Bechamel sauce...Boil up once or twice, taste for seasoning and stir in the cooked lobster coral, then, when thofoughly blended, the lobster pieces (or any other kind of cooked fish, meat, eggs and so forth) alternately with 4 tablespoons of Hollandaise sauce...Serve at once, as this sauce cannot wait, and does not keep long. For a dish supreme, add 1 generous tablespon of finely chopped black truffles."
---The Gold Book, Louis P. De Gouy [Galahad Books:New York] 1938(p. 578-579)

[1967] "Lobster a la Newberg, or Delmonico
Cook six lobsters each weighing about two pounds in boiling salted water for twenty-five minutes. Twelve pounds of live lobster when cooked yields from two to two and a half pounds of meat with three to four ounces of coral. When cold detach the bodies from the tails and cut the latter itno sliceds; put them inta a sautoir [saucepan], each piece lying flat, and add hot clarified butter; season with salt and fry lightly on both sides without coloring; moisten to their height with good raw cream; reduce quickly to half; and then add two or three spoonfuls of Madeira wine; boil the liquid once more only, then remove and thicken with a thickening of egg yolks and raw cream. Cook without boiling, incorporating a little cayenne and butter; then arrange the pieces in a vegetable dish and pour the sauce over."
---Delmonico's: A Century of Splendor, Lately Thomas [Houghton Mifflin Company:Boston] 1967 (p. 222)

Lobster rolls

Sometimes...the simpler the recipe the more complicated the history. Such is the case with lobster rolls. When it comes to lobster rolls, food historians generally agree on two points:

1. There is no one single recipe for lobster rolls.
2. Lobster rolls, as we know them today, are probably a 20th century invention because they require soft hot dog buns.

What is a lobster roll?
There seem to be two primary versions of the lobster roll: one is a mayonnaise-based lobster salad sandwich and the other is simply composed of hearty chunks of fresh lobster meat drenched in butter. Both are traditionally served in long (hot-dog type) buns which may be toasted. Pickles and chips are the usual accompaniments. Both are considered standard menu items with shore-based restaurants, diners and lobster shacks (inexpensive family-style outdoor eateries).

"ON A ROLL... Temperature's rising, the surf's pounding, the lobster harvest is at an all-time high. Bring on the lobster rolls! The roll: It must be a stand-alone hot-dog bun, rectangular, flat on both sides, coming to a crisp right angle at the flat base. If it's oval or toasted, do not touch it. If it's not buttered, do not even look at it. The meat: It must be fresh and predominantly from the tail. It must be at least three inches wide at the top, extending at least an inch above the crest of the bun. No less than a quarter-pound of lobster per sandwich. Some joints boast that they use a full lobster in each sandwich, but it takes nearly five lobsters to get a pound of meat. The dressing: The lobster may be mixed with a thin lather of mayo but not salad dressing. Dick Henry, co-owner of the Maine Diner, believes in naked lobster. "All meat," he says. I, however, will accept celery, if finely chopped. "It gives a hint of the taste," agrees Billy Tower, who has sold lobster rolls for four decades at Barnacle Billy's restaurant. The temp: Like a hot-fudge sundae, the ideal lobster roll is a contradiction of temperatures: warm bun, chilled meat. "I'm 60 years old, and that's the way I've always been told it should be," says Georgia Kennett of Five Islands Lobster Co. But it has become quite respectable to serve the meat hot, in which case the lobster should be covered with drawn butter, not mayonnaise, and eaten with a fork and knife."
---"On a roll," David Shribman, Fortune, 8.13.2001 (p. 198)

A survey of current online menus confirms there is no distinct geographic boundary that separates the two versions. You can find both versions in restaurants from the top of Maine to the tip Long Island.

When did lobster rolls begin?

"Lobster rolls...because they are made with hamburger buns, they are definately twentieth century (soft, hamburger yeast buns were first maufactured in 1912)." ---The American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 345)

"About 1966-67 Fred Terry, owner of the Lobster Roll Amagansett, New York, produced a recipe containing mayonnaise, celery, and seasonings; mixed with fresh lobster meat placed on a heated hot-dog roll that has come to be known as the "Long Island (New York) lobster roll"...According to Carolyn Wyman...lobster meat drenched in butter and served on a hamburger or hot dog roll has long been available at seaside eateries in Connecticut and may well have originated at a restaurant named Perry's in Milford, where owner Harry Perry concocted it for a regular customer named Ted Hales sometime in the 1920s. Furthermore, Perry's was said to have a sign from 1927 to 1977 reading "Home of the Famous Lobster Roll."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 188)

"The lobster roll is a tradition, though not a very old one. My 75-year-old father, who has lived all his life in Maine, says he doesn't remember eating a lobster roll until sometime after World War II. ''It was down around Tenants Harbor,'' he said. ''Some people named Cook had a stand down there where a lobster roll cost 35 cents.''"
---"Fare of the Country: In Maine, Lobster on a Roll," Nancy Jenkins, New York Times, July 14, 1985 (section 10, p.6)

A survey of historic New England cookbooks confirms lobster salad was popular in the 19th century. This is the first recipe we find that suggest serving lobster salad with toast:

"Curried Lobster
Take the meat from a medium sized boiled lobster and cut in small dice. Put into the chafing rounded tablespoonful of butter. When hot add a tablespoonful minched onion, and cook until it reaches the yellow stage, but not a moment longer. Mix one rounded tablespoonful flour with a teaspoonful (or more, according to taste) of curry powder and stir into the hot butter. Add a cup hot milk or thick cream and stir until it thickens and is smooth and creamy. Add two cups of the diced lobster meat, and as soon as thoroughly heated serve on delicately browned slices of toast crisped crackers."
---New York Evening Post Cook Book, Emma Paddock Telford [New York:1908] (p. 20)

Lobster Thermidor

"Thermidor. The name of a lobster dish created in January 1894 at Marie's, a famous restaurant in the Boulevard Saint-Denis in Paris, on the evening of the premiere of Thermidor, a play by Victorien Sardou (according to the Dictionnaire de l"Academie des Gastronomes). Other authors attribute it to Leopold Mourier of the Cafe de Paris, where the chef Tony Girod, his assistant and successor, created thte recipe used today...The name 'thermidor' is also given to a dish consisting of sole poached in white wine and fish fumet, with shallots and parsley, and covered with a sauce made from the reduced cooking liquid thickened with butter and seasoned with mustard."
---Larousse Gastronomique, completely revised and updated edition [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 1208)

"Thermidor. A designation given to a method of preparing and cooking lobster in which the creature (up to this point alive) is cut in half and grilled, has its flesh sliced up and returned to the half shell in bechamel sauce with various added flavourings, and is then browned under the grill again and served. It commemorates the play Thermidor by Victorien Sardou, for the first-night celebration of which it was created in Paris in 1894."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 342)

Escoffier's recipe, circa 1903:

"2124 Homard Thermidor
Split the lobster in half lengthways, season and gently grill, then remove the flesh from the shell and cut into fairly thick slices on the slant. Place some Sauce Creme finished with a little English mustard in the bottom of the two half shells, replace the slices of lobster neatly on top and coat with the sauce. Glaze lightly in a hot oven or under the salamander."
---The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, Escoffier, 1903 edition, translated by H.L Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann, [Wiley:New York] 1979 (p. 249)

About crabs

According to the Encyclopedia Americana [1995 edition] there are approximately 4,500 different species of crabs living on Earth. They are distributed throughout the world. This means? It is probably impossible to tell for sure who (much less where!) ate the first crabs. Food historians tell us crabs were known to ancient Greeks and Romans. How do they know? Art and literature. Historians also tell us crabs were not well liked by these ancient Mediterranean people as food.

"Crab, group of water creatures characterised by their hard, round, flat shells. Several of the larger kinds are very good to eat, but ancient sources do no suggest they were eaten enthusiastically. The various classical names cannot be confidently attached to individual species; they varied in their reference across the ancient world and through time."
---Food in the Ancient World from A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 105)

Crabs in Great Britain

"Prehistoric period...Crabs are thought to have been taken from the deep waters off Oronsay and Oban by means of plaited baskets."
---Food and Drink in Britain: From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago 1991(p. 17)

The Romans who came to Britain and who lived within reach of the sea must have been happy to enjoy the local seafish, and British fishermen would have had a good market for their catches...Nearer inshore, seafoods such as crab and lobster were taken."---ibid (p. 21)

"Medieval period...The distribution of the more usual forms of fish was carried out mainly by the fishmongers, who had their own guild in London by the middle of the twelfth century. The varied range of their merchandise can be gathered from the accounts of Daniel Rough, who was the common clerk of Romney, Kent from 1353 to 1380 , and a fishermonger as well. His stock included 'oysters, crabs, trout, sprats, porpoise, salmon, haddock, lampreys, mackerel, codling, conger eel, shrimps, red and white herrings, whiting, "pickerelle" [young pike], stockfish, gunards, whelks, tench and "strinkes of pimpernelle" [small eels]'."---ibid (p. 38)

"Renaissance...Lobster, crayfish and crab were greatly enjoyed, though they seldom reach the inland eater. At formal meals they presented difficulties. 'Crab is a slut to carve and a wrawde wight [perverse creature]. By the the the carver in a noble household had finished picking the meat out of ever claw with a knife-point, had piled it all into the 'broadshell', and had added vinegar and mixed spices, the tepid crab had to be sent back again to the kitchen to be reheated before he could offer it to his lord. Crab and lobster were also boiled and eaten cold with vinegar, as were shrimps."---ibid (p. 43-4)

"Eighteenth century...Lobsters, crabs, shrimps and prawns continued to be enjoyed."---ibid (p. 49)

Crabs in America

"The early history of crab consumption reflects highly regional tastes...Because of the labor-intensive effort of harvesting crabs, in colonial times the meat was used in small amounts (as was most shellfish) in soups, stews, sauces, and, like other flaked fish, in small fried cakes. Some recipes suggested that other shellfish could be substituted for crab. Blue crab fanges from Delware to Florida but that from Chesapeake Bay is most famous...Snow crab, sometimes called queen-crab...from the colder waters of the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans, appeared on the market in the 1960s...Alaska king crab is highly prized for its large meaty claws and legs...Dungeness crab is found on the Pacific coast from Mexico to Alaska...Rock crab ranges from Labrador, Canada to Florida."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 485-6)

"Outdoor "crab feasts" are common enough on Maryland's Eastern Shore, the live hard-shell crabs being forced into a makeshift be steamed in hotly spiced vinegar vapor...Charleston and Savannah both lay claim to the invention of she-crab soup, one of the most delicious of the region's springtime specialties...The soup is based on a combination of the meat oand roe of the female blue crab, which is recognizable by its broad "apron" on the underside of the shell...She-crab soup used to be perpetually on the menu of Charleston's Fort Sumter Hotel...Crabs--in greater variety than on any other continent--were found by settlers on both coasts of North America. Stone crabs, common from North Carolina to Texas, remain abundant in Florida and the Keys, and are trapped around Beaufort, North Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina. There antebellum cooks used to stew them in white wine lace with vinegar; then with a seasoning of nutmeg and anchovy the cook would heat the crab with a good deal of butter and egg yolks, serving it on a large crab shell as a second course...In whatever way it comes to the kitchen, crab meat moves inventive cooks to improvise and sometimes to include extenders among the ingredients for a crab dish...Soft-shell crabs are another matter. They are the blue crabs of Long Island Sound, the Eastern Shore, or to the Gulf of Mexico in that biological state when they have molted on shell and have not yet grown a new one..."
---American Food: The Gastronomic Story, Evan Jones, Second edition [Vintage Books:New York] 1981 (p. 133-5)

[1884] Crabs , Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Mrs. D. A. Lincoln
[1911] Crabs & canned crab meat,The Grocer's Encyclopedia, Artemis Ward

Crab cakes
Crab cakes, as we Americans know them today, are most often associated with Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay area. They are considered a popular traditional specialty. How did this recipe evolve? Food historians tell us the practice of making minced meat cakes/patties (seafood/landfood) is ancient. Minces mixed with bread/spices/fillers came about for two reasons: taste and economy. Primary evidence suggests recipes for crab-cake types dishes were introduced to the colonies by English settlers. About
rissoles and croquettes.

A survey of historic American cookbooks confirms crab recipes were popular from colonial days forward. In the 19th century crab recipes proliferated. Many of these combined bread crumbs and spices; some were fried. These recipes are variously called "to stew crabs," "to fry crabs," "to dress crab," "crab patties" or "crab croquettes." Sometimes they stand alone, others they are noted as possible variations under similar fish/shellfish recipes. The phrase "crab cake" appears to be a 20th century appellation.

"Crab cake. A sauteed or fried patty of crabmeat. The term dates in print to 1939 in Crosby Gaige's New York World's Fair Cook Book, where they are called "Baltimore crab cakes," suggesting they have long been known in the South. A "crabburger" is a crab cake eaten on a hamburger bun."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 103)

Crab cake recipes through time

"To fry Crabs
Take the meat out of the great claws being first boiled, flour and fry them and take the meat out of the body strain half if it for sauce, and the other half to fry, and mix it with grated bread, almond paste, nutmeg, salt, and yolks of eggs, fry in clarified butter, being first dipped in batter, put in a spoonful at a time; then make sauce with wine-vinegar, butter, or juyce of orange, and grated nutmeg, beat up the butter thick, and put some of the meat that was strained into the sauce, warm it and put it in a clean dish, lay the meat on the sauce, slices of orange over all, and run it over with beaten butter, fryed parasley, round the dish brim, and the little legs round the meat."
---The Accomplist Cook, Robert May, facsimile 1685 edition [Prospect Books:Devon] 2000 (p. 412)
[NOTE: This book contains several crab-cake type recipes.]

"To Dress a Crab.
Having taken out the Meat, and cleaned it from the Skin, put it into a Stew-pan, with half a Pint of White Wine, a little Nutmeg, Pepper, and Salt over a slow Fire; throw in a few Crumbs of Bread, beat up one Yolk of an Egg with one Spoonful of Vinegar, throw it in, and shake the Sauce-pan round a Minute, then serve it up on a Plate."
---The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, By a Lady (Hannah Glasse) facsimile reprint with essays [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 95)

"To dress a Crab.

Boil the crab well in sat and water, and when cold break it up, mix the meat in the inside of the shell well together, break the large claws, take out the meat, and cut it fine, lay it over the shell-meat as handsome as you can in the shell, put it in the dish, split the chine in two, and put at each end, crack the small claws and put them round; mix some oil and vinegar, a little mustard, pepper, and salt, and put it over the meat in the shell; garnish with parsley."
---The New Art of Cookery According to Present Practice, Richard Briggs [Printed for W. Spotswood, R. Campbell and B. Johnson:Philadelphia] 1792 (p. 99)

Crab and Lobster Cutlets, Jennie June's American Cookery Book, Jane Cunningham Croly

"Soft-Shell Crabs.

Lift the shell at both sides and remove the spongy substance found on the back. The pull off the "apron," which will be found on the under side, and to which is attached a substance like that removed from the back. Now wipe the crabs, and dip them in beaten egg, and then in fine bread or cracker crumbs. Fry in boiling fat from eight to ten minutes, the time depending upon the size of the crabs. Serve with Tartare sauce. Or, the egg and bread crumbs may be omitted. Season with salt and cayenne, and fry as before. When broiled, crabs are cleaned, and seasoned with salt and cayenne; are then dropped into boiling water for one minute, take up, and broiled over a hot fire for eight minutes. They are served with maitre d'hotel butter or Tartare sauce."
---Miss Parloa's New Cook Book and Marketing Guide, [Estes & Lauriat:Boston MA] 1880 (p. 129)

"Dolls' and City Hotel Cafes...crab cakes..."
---News [Frederick MD], April 24, 1899 (p. 3)

Crab Croquettes

These are precisely the same as lobster cutlets. Form into pyramid shaped croquettes, dip in egg and bread crumbs, and fry in hot fat."
---Mrs. Rorer's New Cook Book, Sarah Tyson Rorer [Arnold and Company:Philadelphia] 1902 (p. 121)

The proliferation of commercial canned crab products promoted recipes. "Crab Meat in Cans. The clean, white meat, picked out and packed by the Tangier Packing Co., by reputation the best in their line. Directions on each can for preparing...crab cakes."---Trenton Times [NJ], November 1, 1909 (p. 4)[NOTE: recipe not included in the advertisement.]

"Crab Croquettes

1 cup milk
2 tablespoons flour
2 eggs
2 heaping cups of cooked crab meat
1/2 small onion
Cracker crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste.
Blend the flour wtih a little cold milk, mix in the yolks of the eggs and the salt, pepper, and the little bit of onion, then add the milk, and put on the fire to cook slowly. Stir constantly. When it begins to thicken, add the crab meat and last of all the beaten whites of eggs. Cool and shape into croquettes, dip in cracker crumbs and fry in deep lard. Decorate the dish with parsley and cubes of lemon."
---Old Southern Receipts, Mary D. Pretlow [Robert M. McBride:New York] 1930 (p. 23-4)

"Crab Cakes Baltimore.

Take one pound of crab meat for each four crab cakes. Put crab meat into mixing bowl, add one and one-half teaspoons salt, and two teaspoons white pepper, one teaspoon English dry mustard and two teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, one yolk of egg and one soup spoon cream sauce or mayonnaise, one teaspoon chopped parsley. Mix well, making four crab cakes, press hard together, dip into flour, then into beaten eggs, then into bread crumbs. Fry them in hot grease pan.--Mr. W.L. Jackson, Managing Director, Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore."
---Eat, Drink & Be Merry in Maryland: An Anthology From a Great Tradition, compiled by Frederick Philip Stieff [G.P. Putnam's Sons:New York] 1932 (p. 44)

"Crab-Flake Cakes (Baltimore)

2 cups crab meat
1 cup milk
yolk 1 egg
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon onion juice
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
bread crumbs
rich cream sauce
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add to it the flour; when well mixed, add the milk gradually, stirring constantly until smooth. Add the egg yolk beaten up with Worcestershire sauce and onion juice, and the crab flakes, seasoning with salt and pepper. As soon as this mixture is cool enough, put it in the icebox to get very cold. Form into flat cakes; dredge in finely sifted bread crumbs and fry on both sides in either lard or butter. Serve on a hot platter with Rich Cream sauce poured over the cakes. Crab meat used must be from the body part of the crab, and must be very carefully picked over."
---The National Cookbook: A Kitchen Americana, Shiela Hibben [Harper & Brothers:New York] 1932 (p. 112)

"Baltimore Crab Cakes

1 pund crab meat
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon English dry mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons cream sauce or mayonnaise
beaten eggs
bread crumbs
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
Put crab meat into mixing bowl; add mustard, Worcestershire sauce, egg yolk, cream sauce or mayonnaise, and chopped parsley. Mix well, making four crab cakes; press together, dip into flour, then into beaten eggs, then into bread crumbs. Fry the cakes in a hot greased pan."
---New York World's Fair Cook Book: The American Kitchen, Crosby Gaige [Doubleday, Doran & Company:New York] 1939 (p. 42-43)

"Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes.

1 pound cooked blue-claw crab meat
1/2 teaspoon (dry) mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
dash cayenne pepper
1 slice bread, wet, squeezed out, and crumbled
dry bread crumbs Combine the crab meat with the mustard, mayonnaise, egg, salt, Worcestershire, cayenne, and bread. Shape into 8 cakes and roll in bread crumbs. In a heavy frying pan heat the oil until barely smoking and cook cakes at moderate heat until brown on one side, then turn carefully and brown the other side. (4 servings)"
---The American Regional Cookbook, Nancy & Arthur Hawkins [Prentice Hall:Englewood Cliffs NJ] 1976 (p. 48)

Crab dip
Crab dip, as we Americans know it today, descends from a long line of creamy minced crab [lobster, oyster] dishes, served hot, warm, or cold. Textures, flavors, and dippers vary; the underlying culinary theme does not. NOTE: The term
"dip" first surfaces after WWII. Excellent case study in why it's important to examine recipes below the title surface.

"To Butter Crabs, or Lobsters.

Take two Crabs, or Lobsters, being boiled, and cold, tale all the Meat out of the Shells and Bodies, mince it small, and put it all together into a Sauce-pan;add to it a Glass of White Wine, two Spoonfuls of Vinegar, a Nutmeg grated, then let it boil up till it is thorough hot; then have ready half Pound fresh Butter, melted with an Anchovy, and the Yolks of two Eggs beat up and mixed with the Butter; then mix Crab and Butter all together, shaking the Sauce-pan constantly round till it is quite hot; then have ready the great Shell, either of the Crab or Lobster, lay it in the Middle of your Dish, pour some into the Shell, and the rest in little Saucers round the Shell, sticking three Corner Toasts between the Saucers, and round the Shell. This is a fine Side-dish at a second Course."
---The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile 1747 edition [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 94)

"To Stew Crabs

Choose three or four Crabs, pick the Meat clean out of the body and claws, take care no spungy part be left among it or any of the Shell, put this clean meat into a stew pan, with a little white wine, some pepper and salt, and a little grated Nutmeg, heat all this, well together, and then put in some Crumbs of Bread, the yolks of two Eggs beat up and one Spoonfull of Vinegar. Stir all well together; make some toasted Sippets, lay them in a plate and pour in the crabs. Send it up hot."
---A Colonial Plantation Cookbook: The Receipt Book of Harriott Pinckney Horry, 1770, edited with an introduction by Richard J. Hooker [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1984 (p. 59)

"Scalloped Crabs.
--Pick the meat from the shells, mince it, and mix with a cream sauce; season with salt and pepper, put the mixture in the crab shell or in scallop shells, cover with buttered cracker crumbs, and bake till brown."
Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book, Mary Lincoln

"Cream Crab
One tablespoon of butter, three tablespoons of flour, one teaspoon of minced onion, one blade of mace, salt and pepper; meat of one crab in rather large pieces; one pint of cream; one egg beaten. Cook onion and mace in the butter. Take spoon and remove onion and mace. Add the flour and cook a minute. Then add cream and cook until it thickens. Season. Add beaten egg and then the crab. When crab is hot, serve on toast.--Mrs D. A. Lindley, Sacramento, Cal."
---Good Housekeeping Woman's Cook Book , Isabel Gordon Curtis (p. 300)

"Flaked Crab Meat

Utilize the contents of a can of crab's meat and with a silver fork flak into small pieces, adding two chopped hard-boiled eggs, one tablespoonful of minced parsley and salt and paprika to taste; meanwhile prepare in the chafing dish about two cupfuls of rich cream sauce, by blending together an even tablespoonful each of melted butter and flour and diluting to the proper consistency with milk or cream; be sure that the sauce boils, then stir in the other ingredients and serve on rounds of hot buttered toast, garnishing each portion with a little grated egg yolks. This can be served on crab shells."
---"Tried Recipes," The Evening Independent [Massilon OH] , January 27, 1912 (p. 6)

"Baked Crab Flakes

Cream together four tablespoonfuls of butter and two tablespoonfuls of flour. Heat thoroughly in a double boiler, two cups milk (not boiling), add flour and butter, stirring constantly. Cook until creamy. Remove from fire and stir in one egg well beaten. Mash one hard-boiled egg, mince a little parsley and add with salt and red pepper to sauce. Then add two pounds of crab flakes and put in baking dish, cover with bread crumbs and bake until brown.--Mrs. John P. Caspar, Washington County." (p. 43)

"Crab Flake Maryland
1 lb. lump crab flakes, 1 pint milk, 1/2 pint cream, 1/4 lb. butter, 1/2 oz. salt, 2 pinch cayenne pepper, 1 glass sherry wine, 2 tablespoons flour. Melt ha;lf the butter in a a sauce-pan, add the flour and make the cream sauce with the heated milk, set aside to keep it hot. Heat the rest of the butter in a sauce-pan, add the crab meat and fry a little, try not to break up the lumps, add salt, pepper, cream sauce and cream. Let boil for two or three minutes, then add the sherry wine, mix well. Make sure that it doesn't boil. Serve very hot in chafing dish with toast.--Wm. H. Parker, Manager, Hotel Emerson, Baltimore." (p. 47)

"Crab Meat Dewey ---Eat, Drink & Be Merry in Maryland: An Anthology From a Great Tradition, Frederick Philip Steiff [G. P. Putnam's Sons:New York] 1932

"Cheese and Crab Delight

2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
Salt, pepper
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1 cup cooked strained tomatoes
1 cup Kraft Dehydrated Grated American
1 egg
1/4 cup hot milk
1 cup crabmeat
Bread Croustades
Cook green pepper in butter. Add the flour, seasonings and tomatoes, and cook slowly, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add cheese, mix well, then add beaten egg. Cook and stir constantly until slightly thickened. Add milk and crabmeat, mix and heat again. Serve on fresh bread croustades. Garnish with mixed sweet pickle." ---Favorite Recipes from Marye Dahnke's File, Kraft-Phenix Cheese Corporation [Chicago IL] 1932 (p. 37)

"Crab Dip

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 can (6 1/2 ounces) dungeness crab meat, drained and flaked
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients; chill thoroughly. Use dip for crackers, toast, pretzels, califlowerettes, celery sticks. Yield:2 cups dip."
---"Alaska Crab Fest," Celmentine Paddleford, Los Angeles Times, January 22, 1955 (p. J34)

Crab Dip

2 tbs. butter
2 tbs. flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 can Campbell's tomato soup
2 cups sharp cheese
Mustard, salt and pepper
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 can crab meat
Simmer and place in a chafing dish to keep warm. Serve as a dip with crackers or potato chips."
---Carroll Daily Times Herald [IA], December 24, 1956 (p. 5)

"Crab Canapes

1 6-oz can crabmeat
3 tbsp. sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp. horseradish
1/2 cup thick cream sauce
1 package Melba Rounds
Remove bones from crabmeat and shred it quite fine Add cheese to cream sauce and stir until cheese melts, then add crabmeat and horseradish. Put a thick layer of crabmeat on each Melba round, and run under a broiler flame for a few seconds before serving."
---"Speaking of Foods: Collecting Dips? Here Are New Ones," Mason City Globe Gazette [IA], January 2, 1957 (p. 14)

"Crab Dip

1 3-oz. package cream cheese
1/4 cup catsup
1 6 1/2-oz. can crab meat, flaked
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Soften cream cheese at room temperature. Combine with other ingredients and blend until smooth. Makes about 1 1/2 cups."
---"Dips and Crackers Will Make Party," Los Angeles Times, July 6, 1961 (p. A6)

"Hot Crab Dip

1 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 tbsp. chopped onion
1 tbsp. chopped green pepper
1/4 cup cream
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 can cheese soup
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
1 7 1/2-oz. can crab meat
1 tbsp. sherry
Dash nutmeg
Melt butter in 1-qt. saucepan. Add onion and green pepper and cook until tender but not browned. Mix cream and cornstarch, then stir into soup along with egg yolk. Add soup mixture to vegetables. Drain crab meat and pick out any pieces of shell. Flake the crab and add to vegetables along with sherry and nutmeg. Cook and stir until thickened. Serve in a chafing dish with crackers. Makes about 1 3/4 cups."
---"Cheese Is a Sharp Base for Hot Dips," Los Angeles Times, September 7, 1967 (p. F24)

"Crab Tartar Dip

1 7 1/2-oz. can crab meat
1 5/8-oz. env. tartar sauce mix
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup mayonnaise
Drain crab and slice. Soften tartar sauce mix in water. Blend with mayonnaise and sour cream. Fold in crab. Chill several hours before serving. makes 1 1/2 cups crab dip."
---"Do the all ahead: Crab Appetizers Suit Mood," Marian Manners, Los Angeles Times, August 15, 1968 (p. G30)

"Creamy Crab Dip

1 7 1/2 oz. can or 1/2 lb. frozen crab meat
1 cup dairy sour cream
1 3-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. prepared horseradish
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
Few drops hot pepper sauce
2 tsp. chopped chives
3 artichokes, cooked and chilled
Drain canned crab meat and slice. Or thaw, drain and slice frozen crab meat. Blend together sour cream and cream cheese. Add crab meat, lemon juice, horseradish, seasoned salt, pepper sauce and chives. Mix thoroughly. Cover and chill to blend flavors. Pull center leaves or artichokes and remove chokes. Spoon crab dip in cavities. Allow guests to pull leaves from artichokes and use as dippers for crab mixture. makes 6 to 8 servings."
---"Dandy Dippers," Los Angeles Times, February 7, 1971 (p. 40)

"Hot Crab Dip

1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (6 1/2-to 7 3/4 ounce) can crab, undrained
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
Spread almonds in a shallow pan and bake at 350 degrees 4 minutes or until golden. Turn out of pan. Beat cream cheese with lemon juice, undrained crab and curry powder until well blended. Mix in half toasted almonds. Turn dip into 2-cup baking dish or oven-proof bowl. Bake at 350 degrees 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the shape of the dish (deeper dish takes longer). Dip is done when pick inserted in center comes out fairly dry and center is hot. Top with remaining almonds and serve hot with chips or raw vegetables."
---"Culinary SOS," Rose Dosti, Los Angeles Times, February 14, 1985 (p. L8)

"Spicy Crab Dip

1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped dill pickle
1 green onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped capers, drained
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
8 ounces picked crab meat
In a small bowl combine all ingredients except crab meat. Blend well, then stir in crab meat. Serve with crusty French bread, or omit the crab and serve as a tangy dipping sauce for cooked shrimp, crab legs or raw vegetables. Makes about 2 cups or 8 hors d'oeuvres servings. Recipe may be doubled."
---"Festive*New*Lean," Philadelphia Tribune, February 27, 1996 (p. C1)

Crab rangoon
While fried
wantons filled with seafood and vegetables were known to ancient Chinese cooks, crab rangoon is most definately a very modern convention. Why? Cream cheese (indeed, nearly all dairy products) is not indigenous to Chinese cuisine. The earliest mention we find for crab rangoon was printed in a New York Times (no recipe) April 28, 1958 (p. 18) in a review of Trader Vic's at the Savoy-Plaza. Decription reads "This is a crab meat deep-fried in a crisp, thin shell." There is no mention whether the reviewer (Craig Claiborne) liked these or not. The earliest recipe we have for Crab Rangoon was published by Trader Vics in the 1960s.

This makes perfect sense. After World War II Chinese, Japanese and Polynesian foods were considered exotic and trendy. Many traditional foods were adapted to suit American tastes and ingredients. Some of these, (possibly because Americans were used to the flavor mixed with crab), included cream cheese.

"Crab Rangoon

1/2 pound crab meat
1/2 pound cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon A-1 sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Won ton noodle squares
1 egg yolk, beaten.
Chop crab meat and blend with cheese and seasonings. Put 1/2 teaspoon of mixture in center of noodle square, fold square over cornerwise. Moisten edges slightly with beaten egg and twist together. Fry in deep fat until delicately browned. Serve hot. Makes filling for 10 to 15 squares."
---Trader Vic's Pacific Island Cookbook [Doubleday & Company:Garden City NY] 1968 (p. 122)

About shrimp
Shrimp to some,
prawns to others. These curious crustaceans have been enjoyed by humans from prehistoric times forward. Cooking methods (boiling, grilling, steaming, deep frying, stir fry), recipes (cold mayonnaise salads, spicy cocktails, popcorn-style, cassererole sauce) and meal position (appetizer, sauce, main course, street food) vary through time and culture. Where did it all begin?

"Squilla" is the Latin word for shrimp. According to the food historians, both ancient Romans and Greeks had ready access to very large specimens and enjoyed their shrimp prepared many different ways. Apicius, an ancient Roman author, collected these recipes in his cookbook.

"Shrimp and prawn, group of small river and sea creatures. The larger species are easily cooked and very easily eaten...In Italy, if Marital is to be believed, the shrimp was at its best in the tidal reaches of the River Liris in southern Latium. This river reached the sea at Minturnae. Now it was at Minturnae, according to legend, that Apicius lived--eighty years before Marital's time--and enjoyed the local magnificent shrimps, which grow bigger than the shrimps at Smyrna, bigger indeed than the lobsters at Alexandria' to quote Athnaeus...Pliny the Younger boasted of good shrimps a little further north, at his Laurentan villa. Shrimps danced when roasted on the coals, Ophelion tells us...The were served honey-glazed at the dinner described by Philoxenus, and in general in ancient cuisine they were roasted, or fried in a skillet, rather than boiled."
---Food in the Ancient World from A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 301)

"There have always been customers for shrimp ready to fall upon them whenever and wherever they could be delivered. In the ancient Mediterranean world, where fishing was on an artisanal scale and almost everybody lived close to the water, the Greeks preferred the larger types of shrimp even to lobster, and cooked them wrapped in fig leaves. The Romans made the finest grade of all their all-purpose sauce, liquamen, from shrimps. When Apicius heard that there were particularly large, luscious ones in Libya, he chartered a ship to sample them on the spot himself, but he was so much disappointed by the first ones brought to him aboard ship that he sailed home without ever setting food on shore."
---Food: An Authoritative and Visual History and Dictionary of the Foods of the World, Waverley Root [Smithmark:New York] 1980 (p. 460)

Recipe for scillas (modernized version)

"The word shrimp derives from Middle English shrimpe, meaning "pygmy" or the crustacean itself. Shrimp harvesting was known as early as the seventeenth century in Louisiana, whos bayou inhabitants used seine nets up to two thousand feet in circumference. Only after 1917 did mechanized boats utilize trawl nets to catch shrimp."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 294)

Shrimp vs. prawn?
The difference between these two items appears to be contextual. There are biologic, semantic and legal definitions. General descriptions here:

" Shrimp...a term which always refers to certain the order of Decapoda Crustacia...but which, with the assocaited term 'prawn', is used in different ways on the two sides of the Atlantic--and in other parts of the world, depending on whether the use of the English language has been influenced by the British or by Americans. Since the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) has taken the trouble to produce a comprehensive Catalogue of Shrimps and Prawns of the World (Holthuis, 1980), they may be allowed to explain: 'we may say that in Great Britain the term 'shrimp' is the more general of the two, and is the only term used for Crangonidae and most smaller species. 'Prawn' is the more special of the two names, being used solely for Palaemonidae and larger forms, never for the very small ones. In North America the name 'prawn' is practically obsolete and is almost entirely replaced by the word 'shrimp' (used for even the largest species, which may be called 'jumbo shrimp'). If the word 'prawn' is used at all in America it is attached to small pieces."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2006 (p. 720)

"Prawn. A Crustacean in the order of Decapoda. Prawns differ in the appearance from shrimps in having more slender abdomens and longer leags but the names are used synonymously in commercial trade. Unfortunately, at market "prawn" is univerally applied to any off the larger marine shrimps. The less familiar term "freshwater prawn" refers to paleamonid shrimps, specifically Macrobrachium of which there are more than 100 species on a world basis. The giant Malaysian prawn (M. rosenbergii) is perhaps the bes known and is widely cultured in southern Asia as well as Hawaii and more recently in Puerto Rico. The Tahitian prawn (M. lar) is also widely distributed in the western Pacific Islands, and other species are indigenous to India, the Philippines, Africa, Central and South America. A large native from (M. acanthurus) is found in southern U.S. from the Neuse River in North Carolina to Texas. However, freshwater prawns are only utilized on a local level by individual fishermen at present. Stricly speaking, prawns are andromonous and not totally freshwater curstaceans, but they are harvested in rice fields, ponds and rivers.... Prawns are more perishable than marine shrimps and must be iced or flash frozen immediately after capture. Only the tail portion is eaten. The always sweet meat is comparable to lobster in texture and flavor."
---The Encyclopedia of Fish Cookery, A.J. McClane [Holt, Rinehart and Winston:New York] 1977 (p. 247-8)

"Prawn (Macrobrachium acanthurus). A Crustacean similar to a shrimp but with a more slender body and longer legs. The name is from Middle Englsih prayne. At market the term prawn is often used to describe a wide variety of shrimp that are not prawns at all. The only native American species is found in the South, ranging from North Carolina to Texas. Prawns are cultivated in Hawaii."
---Encyclopedia of American Food& Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 255)

"The terms "shrimp" and "prawn" are used almost interchangeably. Americans primarily use the word "shrimp" for large and small crustaceans in the Penaeidae and Pandalidae families. Elsewhere in the world "prawn" usually describes a smaller creature."
---Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2007 (p. 536)

First shrimp/prawn recipes?
Presumably, prawns have been consumed from prehistoric times forward. Although written recipes did not exist in the earliest times, we can assume prawns were boiled (perhaps with seasoning) similar to lobsters and other crustaceans. It is possible tiger (jumbo) prawns were eaten by themselves or as protein part of soups and stews. The earliest print recipes (Apicius, Ancient Rome) confirm boiling and add mincing (combined with spices, fillers to achieve patties) as popular ways for preparing seafood.

These modernized recipes originally appeared in Apicus, Book II: Minces. They were served as starters or side dishes. The original [transliterated] text does not specifically state prawn or shrimp. Recipes specify sea-onion, crab, lobster, cuttle fish, ink fish, spiny lobster, scallops and oysters. Presumably prawns/shrimp could have been treated similarly. Book IX [Seafood] offers recipes for boiled lobster and minced lobster tail meat. These might have been "main" courses.

Squill or Prawn Patties (Apicus 44)
...Patties of squills or large prawns: The prawns or squills are removed from their shells and ground in a mortar with pepper and the finest garum. Patties are formed with the meat. Serves 4
1 3/4 lb (800 g.) prawns, squills, or shrimp (shelled weight)
1 Tbs. garum
pepper to taste
pork caul fat
These seafood patty recipes are all fairly similar, differing mainly in the type of fish used. This recipe for squills or prawns (you can also use shrimp) is particularly delicate. Scald the crustaceans in boiling water so that the heads and shells can be easily removed. grind the meat in a mortar with the garum and pepper and form patties from this mixture. I suggest wrapping each of these in caul that the patties do not fall apart. The boil or fry in a bit of olive oil."
---A Taste of Ancient Rome, Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa, translated by Anna Herklotz [University of Chicago Press:Chicago] 1992 (p. 132)

"Prawn Balls in gydorgarum, Apicius 2.1.1
The prawn balls are cooked in a special cooking sauce made with fish sauce and water known a hygrograum. A modern counterpart would be a 'court bouillon' designed for poaching. This hydrograum is flavoured simply with celery leaves and pepper.
300 g raw king prawns
2/3 tsp lovage seeds
1 level tsp cumin
pinch asafoetida resin or powder
generous freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
2 desserts poons soft bread crumbs
For the hydrogarum:
1 coffee cup of fish sauce
7 coffee cups of water
a small handful of celerly leaves
freshly ground black pepper.
Peel and clean the intestinal tract from the prawns. Pound or process into a paste. Roast and grind the three spices, mix them with the pepper and add to the prawn paste with the egg and bread crumbs. Process until combined. In a small, deep frying-pan place 1 measure of fish sauce to 7 measures of water using a small coffee cup. To this add the green leaves from a head of celery. Bring to a simmer. Check the seasoning, adjust with more pepper if necessary. Using two large teaspoons, make egg shaped balls by scooping the mixture from one spoon to the other. Drop them in the simmering hydrogarum and gently cook until they have set (no more than 4-5 minutes). Serve warm with salad leaves dressed with an oenogarum."
---Cooking Apicius: Roman Recipes for Today, Sally Grainger [Prospect Books:Devon] 2006 (p. 49)

If you are studying ancient prawns in a different culture (Maori?) or period (18th century?) your best bet is to examine period cooking techniques/vessels. Prawns might have been steamed, roasted, &c. In the absence of prawn references, substitute crab, lobster & scallop. Shrimp, of all sizes are generally treated in the same manner.

Shrimp cocktail
Although people have been combining fish with spicy sauces since ancient times, the "shrimp cocktail," as we Americans know it today, belongs to the late 19th/early 20th century. A survey of American cookbooks confirms the combination of shellfish (most typically oysters) and a spicy tomato-based sauce (usually ketchup spiced with horseradish, tabasco, and cayenne) served in tiny cups as appetizers was extremely popular in the early part of the 20th century. There are several variations on this recipe.

Oysters were original the "cocktail" shellfish of choice. Shrimp variations were popular in Cajun/Creole cooking before they begin to show up in "mainstream" cookbooks. Presumably this is because oysters were "wildly" popular with Americans during the late 19th century. Shrimp, less so. Tabasco, a common ingredient, is also a product of Louisiana. Avery Island, to be exact.

Incidentally, "cocktail" appetizers (think fruit cocktail, shrimp cocktail) were extremly popular during the 1920s, the decade of Prohibition. In the 1920s, these appetizers were actually served in "cocktail glasses" originally meant to hold alcoholic beverages. It was a creative way to use the stemware!

What was the popular brand we used to buy in supermarkets?
Sau Sea brand shrimp cocktail was the brand we all remember. Individual portions packed in thick, reusable glasses. Some of us still have them!

According to the records of the US Patent & Trademark Office, Sau Sea shrimp products were introduced to the American public December 12, 1948. The inventors of this product were Abraham Kaplan and Ernest Schoenbrun, based in New York City. Company & product history here. Product photo.

The company & brand (individual seafood cocktails packed in glass) remain viable. Our local food store in northern NJ sells the product next to the imitation crab and lobster products. online.

About shrimp & Tabasco sauce

A sampler of early recipes

"Shrimps in Tomato Catsup

Chevrettes a la Sauce Tomate.
100 River Shrimp
2 Tablespoonfuls of Tomato Catsup
3 Hard-Boiled Eggs, Salt, Pepper and Cayenne to Taste.
Boil the shrimp and pick. Put them into a salad dish. Season well with black pepper and salt and a dash of Cayenne. Then add two tablespoonfuls of tomato catsup to every half pint of shrimps. Garnish with lettuce leaves and hard-boiled egg and serve."
---Picayune's Creole Cook Book (second edition), facsimile 2nd edition, 1901 [Dover Publications:New York] 1971 (p. 67)

Savory Cocktails

Savoury cocktails are usually made of raw fish, although combinations of raw and smoked fish are sometimes used, and in rare instances good-sized bits of broiled mushrooms and sweetbreads are used instead of the fish. These savoury cocktails should be properly served in cocktail glasses, which are in turn imbedded in cracked ice-soup plates or the new glass oyster plates being used for the service. If the cocktail is mixed with the sauce in the glass, a bit of parsley may top it, or pieces green may be placed, wreath fashion, around the cocktails. If you do not posses cocktail glasses, hollowed-out green peppers or tomatoes may be used, or the cocktail sauce with the savoury ingredient may be thoroughly chilled and served in ordinary small cocktail glasses. In this case the green is placed at the base.

General Recipe for Cocktail Sauce (Individual service)
1/2 tablespoonful tomato catsup or chili sauce
1/2 tablespoonful lemon juice
2 drops tabasco sauce
1/4 teaspoonful celery salt
3 drops Worcestershire sauce
Combine the ingredients in the order given, mixing them well. If desired, a half teaspoonsful of olive oil may be added....Lobster, Shrimp or Crabmeat Cocktail: Allow to each person one-third cupful of diced lobster meat, diced cooked or canned shrimps, or shredded crabmeat; combine with cocktail sauce and serve as directed."
---Mrs. Allen n Cooking, Menus, Service, Ida C. Bailely Allen [Doubleday, Doran & Comapny:Garden City NY] 1924 (p. 112-3)
[NOTE: This book also contains recipes for Oyster Cocktail, Clam Cocktail and Sea-Food Cocktail. It also provides instructions for Frozen Fish Cocktails.]

The oldest reference to shrimp cocktail in the New York Times is this advertisement: "Pride of the Farm Tomato Catsup. Cocktail Sauce for Christmas Dinner. Start you dinner with an appetizer. An oyster, clam or shrimp cocktail gives tone as well as relish...For shrimp cocktail, mix the shrimp and catsup together and serve in small glass dish at each place."
---New York Times, December 15, 1926 (p. 30)

Shrimp scampi

Scampi has two meanings: the name of a shrimp (Italian word) and the name of the dish. Shrimp scampi, as we Americans know it today, became popular after World War II. This was when many Italian dishes went "mainstream." According to our sources, "scampi" is not one set recipe, but a generic name applied to several dishes variously composed of shrimp. Notes here:

"What is scampi?" asked frequently of this department, and a quick check disclosed that it is also asked of fishmongers and Italian restauranteurs. Although the answers received will probably vary with every source consulted, they do fall into two basic categories: a type of shrimp or a preparation of shrimp. Howevever, the ramifications within these two categories are bewildering. In an effort to get an unromantic, unbiased definition of the word; Italian dictionaries of all sizes were consulted. Unfortunately they were peculiarly silent on the subject...Italian cookbooks yielded more relevant, but scarcely more helpful information. Most offered recipes for "scampi" or "shrimp scampi style" and such recipes generally (but not always) called for jumbo shrimp, olive oil, garilc and parsley. "Preparation varies. The methods of cooking, however, varied from boiling to broiling and from frying to baking. Some called for shelling the shrimp in advance; others recommended serving the dish only to "people who are willing to remove the shells at table." Some called for marinating the shellfish in advance; others did not. One even introduced a bread crumb topping. All this would seem to point to the fact that scampi is not, after all, a particular method of preparing shrimp. Some cookbooks and most persons consulted agreed with this and generally (but, again, not always) deveined scampi as shellfish native to the Adriatic (notably the Bay of Venice) that are not available in this country. But the specifications of the shellfish varied from that of a small shrimp to that of a lobster tail and a flavor from similar to Mexican shrimp to unlike anything else. The most authoritative answer came from Mrs. Hedy Giusti-Lanham, who styled herself "practically a scampo--alothough not quite as pink as I should be--because the best ones come from Venice, where I am from." "Plump little beasts. "What are scampi?" she asked rhetorically..."The are like shrimps in this country, only smaller. The larger ones, like the jumbo here, are called scampi imperali; but the normal scampi are quite small. The are plump little beasts and are quite round when they sit on the plate, because the tails curl in close." "No one where I come from would put a heavy sauce on top, like in shrimp cocktail." she commented. "They are usually thrown into heavy boiling water, then deveined and shelled and served lukewarm. Or they may be broiled by basting the shells with oil and putting them under the broiled or over charcoal and basting them while they cook. The shells get very dark and crack when the inside is done. They are served with their shells on. You put a little olive oil and a little lemon on them as you take them out of the shells, and a little pepper--but no salt. Garlic? Oh, no, no, no. They have such flavor that anything else would be an insult." Asked whether there was a great difference between scampi and American-style shrimp, Mrs. Guisti-Lanhan replied: "They are a similar type of person but the accent is very different."
---"Food News: Italian Ways With Scampi," Nan Ickeringill, New York Times, November 17, 1964 (p. 44)

"Scampi. A Venetian term, dating in English print to 1920, that isn America refers to shrimp cooked in garlic, butter, lemon juice, and white wine, commonly listed on menus as "shrimp scampi." The true scampo (scampi is the plural) of Italy is a small lobster or prawn, of the family Nephropidae, which in America is called a "lobsterette.""
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 286)

"Scampi. We seem not to have discovered this simple Italian way of cooking shrimp until after World War II. Certainly scampi weren't familiar beyond big metropolitan areas."
---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 139)
[NOTE: The earliest reference to shrimp scampi in the New York Times is a restaurant advertisement published May 9, 1956 for The Tenakill Restaurant in Englewood NJ]

"In the latter part of the 20th century the Norway lobster became a standard item on British menus, usually under the Italian name scampi. This reflects the fact that Italians in the Adriatic had for long appreciated it, and had many recipes for scampi cooked in this or that way, which became famouns to tourists."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 541)

"Scampi is the plural of the word scampo, 'shrimp', a word of unkown origin. It started to filter into English in the 1920s, but it was not really until the 1950s and 1960s that it began to make headway. This coincided with a boom in popularity of a dish consisting of large prawn tails coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried: scampi and chips became a staple on cafe and restaurant menus. Soon scampi had well and truly ousted the native English Dublin Bay prawns."
---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2003 (p. 303-4)

Shrimp wiggle
Food historians confirm savory quick-cooked combinations of protein, vegetables, sauces and spices have been consumed from ancient times forward. These dishes are economical, portable, flexible and creative. Recipes vary according to culture and cuisine. "Wiggle" recipes, combining minced canned pre-cooked protein (shrimp, salmon, lobster, chicken), white sauce, and peas are generally placed in late 19th-early 20th century United States. The dish's rise (& fall) is connected with the chafing dish, a "dainty" table-top cooking apparatus introduced in late Victorian times. Chafing dishes powered by canned combustibles (sterno, etc.) appealed to cooks for several reasons. (1) Ornate design entranced stylish hostesses serving the latest food trends. (2) Portability appealed to cooks without access to kitchens. (3) Adaptability empowered both finicky gourmets, economical cooks, & boarding students to easily create foods of their choice. Chafing dishes, like crock pots and casseroles, enjoy cyclical popularity.

The first print Shrimp Wiggle recipe we have (so far) was published by Fannie Farmer in 1898. Ingredients and method confirm this is a convenience dish. Our survey of historic USA newspapers uncovered references to the resurgence of "old-fashioned" chafing dish cookery in every decade from the 1920s forward. The connecting thread is the "wow" factor. What better way to combine simple (generally leftover or canned) ingredients yet impress your guests?

About Shrimp Wiggle

"Shrimp Wiggle...Around the turn of the century college girls kept chafing dishes in their dormitory rooms and cooked on the sly. A favorite production was Shrimp Wiggle: canned peas and shrimp heated in a basic white sauce, then served on toast. If the girls were living dangerously, they might sneak in a little 'cooking sherry.' The dish remained a ladies' lunch staple well into this century with crisp patty shells replacing toast points."
---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 119)
[NOTE: Primary sources confirm the college/boarding girl references. These cooks more likely busted for use alcohol use than "unapproved" dormitory cooking. Pretty much same as today.]

Why call it "wiggle?"
Our survey of food history books, cookbooks, and historic newspaper articles confirms many interesting notes regarding the genesis and cyclical popularity of this dish. It did not, however, shed light on the origin of the name. Food writers, if they acknowledge the name at all, gently state they do not know its origin.

"Shrimp Wiggle. A dish of creamed shrimp especially popular in New England and the Midwest. The reason for the name is not known, though it may refer to the ease and quickness with which the dish is made."
---Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 295)

This gives us license to explore the possibilities presented by "educated guess." The Oxford English Dictionary (2nd edition, online edition) tells us the word "wiggle" acts as both verb and noun. The primary definition, in both cases, to lightly move in either a side to side or irregular motion. Such movement applies to the general cooking method for accomplishing Wiggle recipes in the chafing dish apparatus. Definitions here:

VERB: "1. intr. To move to and fro or from side to side irregularly and lightly, to waggle; to walk with such a movement, to stagger, reel, also to waddle (now dial.); to go or move sinuously, to wriggle."
NOUN: 1. An act of wiggling, a light wagging or wriggling movement. to get a wiggle on (U.S. slang), to hurry, bustle. 1816 J. K. PAULDING Lett. from South I. 235 They suffered their hair to grow into a mighty bunch behind, and walked with the genuine Rutland wiggle; that is to say, on tiptoe, and with a most portentous extension of the hinder-parts. 1869 L. M. ALCOTT Little Women II. xxiv. 355 Rob's footstool had a wiggle in its uneven legs. 1896 Inlander Jan. 147 Get a wiggle on you, hurry up; bestir yourself. 1894 Educator (Philad.) Feb. 279 Every fleeting expression of their faces or wiggle of their bodies. 1903 A. ADAMS Log Cowboy iv, Hasn't the boss got a wiggle on himself to-day! 1904 E. ROBINS Magnetic North xvii. 298 You can bunk early and get a four a.m. wiggle on."

Historic recipes & notes

"Shrimp Wiggle

Melt four tablespoons butter, add three tablespoons flour mixed with one-half teaspoon salt and one-eighth teaspoon pepper. Pour on gradually one and one-half cups milk. As soon as sauce thickens, add one cup shrimps, broken in pieces, and one cup canned peas, drained from their liquor and thoroughly rinsed."
---Chafing Dish Possibilities, Fannie Merritt Farmer 1898 [Little, Brown:Boston] 1902 (p. 66)

"Lobster Wiggle.
Into the chafing-dish put two tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of flour. Stir together till like a paste, add one cup of cream or rich milk, half a teaspoon of salt, a dash of paprika, one teaspoon of lemon juice and chopped parsley. Beat till creamy with a whisk, add one and one-half cups of lobster meat cut into small cubes. Cook for a few minutes with the lid on. Just before serving add half a can of French peas. Pour over fingers of buttered toast."
---Good Housekeeping's Woman's Home Cook Book, Isabel Gordon Curtis [Reilly & Britton:Chicago] (p. 254)

"North Adams, Mass---Simply on account of a 'shrimp wiggle' one girl has been expelled from the State Normal school, two other are under suspension and three more on probation. 'Shrimp Wiggle' is a succulent dish. It tastes best when concocted in a chafing dish. When it is made at midnight, in the secrecy of a dormitory room, and especially when all girls midnight parties have been forbidden, it is a feast for goddesses. The goddesses in this case, were the six girls, the 'shrimp wigglers.' They disobeyed the order against chafing dish parties. Principal Murdock also said she should be kept in the girls' rooms. This was to prevent the chafing dishes being used. One girl in Taconic Hall bought alcohol and shrimps and invited five others to a 'wiggle.' It was the hostess who was suspended."
---"No End if Trouble for Six 'Shrimp Wiggle' Maidens," The Portsmouth Times [Ohio], May 6, 1911 (p. 2)
[NOTE: No recipe provided in this article.]

"While the chafing dish as a hobby has long since declined, the eminently practical little article has come completely into is own as a permanent aid in family meal getting and for informal or impromptu hospitality. New uses are constantly being discovered for the blazer in many households and new value attached to it...A popular concoction for luncheon or Sunday night tea is shrimp wiggle. The first proceeding for the tasty wiggle is a sauce made of four tablespoonfuls of butter melted, combined with three of the same measure of flour, half a teaspoonful of salt, one-eight the same of pepper. On this pour gradually three-fourths pint of milk. When the sauce has thickened, turn in a cup of shrimps, broken into pieces; also a cup of peas, cold boiled or canned, the latter drained of their liquor and rinsed."
---"Some of the Fine Art of Chafing Dish Cookery--Recipes That Every Good Housewife Should Know," New York Times, October 8, 1911 (p. X7)

"Chicken Wiggle

1 can or some cold cooked chicken
1 oz. (2 tablespoonfuls) butter
1/2 oz. (2 tablespoonfuls) flour
Salt, pepper and paprika to taste
1 pint (2 cups) milk
1 can peas
Buttered graham bread
Melt the butter in the chafing dish, stir in the flour, and blend well, then add the milk and stir and cook for five minutes. Add the chicken cut into small pieces, the drained peas, and the seasonings. Make very hot and serve with slices of buttered Graham bread."
---Salads, Sandwiches and Chafing Dish Recipes, Marion Harris Neil [David Mckay:Philadelphia] 1916 (p. 26)

"Shrimp Wiggle.

One tablespoonful of butter, two tablespoonfuls of flour, one teaspoonful salt, one-eight teaspoonful paprika, one eight teaspoonful pepper, one cupful rich milk, one cupful fresh or canned shrimps, one cupful canned peas. When I want to try something new in cooking, I always look for a recipe with a cute name, and I think shrimp wiggle sounds so fascinating that I'm just going to try it in in the Cooking Corner. Make a thin, white sauce by melting the butter in top of double boiler, adding the flour, pepper, salt and paprika, stirring well, and adding the milk gradually. This dine, put on bottom of double boiler and let cook slowly, stirring constantly until the sauce comes to the boiling point. Drain the peas carefully, drain the shrimp and add them to your white sauce. Let this heat thoroughly, and in the meantime, toast six pieces of thinly sliced bread to a golden brown, butter, and pour the shrimp wiggle over them. Serve with a dash of paprika on the top of each serving, and parsley at the side of the plate."
---"Jane's Cooking Corner," Jane E. Hall, Los Angeles Times, July 21, 1929 (p. J8)

"Shrimp Wiggle

4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup shrimp
1 cup peas, drained
Salt, paprika, celery salt
1 egg yolk (optional)
1 teaspoon lemon juice, or 1 teaspoon cooking Sherry (optional)
Make a cream sauce of the first three ingredients. When it is boiling, add the shrimp and the peas. Add the egg yolk, cook it for 1 minute over a low flame than add the lemon juice, or sherry. Serve the Wiggle on rounds of buttered tast, or buttered heated rusks, or in hot patty shells. To reheat it, place it over hot water."
---The Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer, facsimile 1931 edition [Simon & Schuster:New York] 1998 (p. 49-50)

"An old friend has come back to popular favor. The chafing dish is with us once again. Back in the gay nineties, chafing dish suppers were one of the favorite forms of dissipation. When that had died out, the chafing dish retired to the confines of the dormitories of girls boarding schools and was the focal point of many a prohibited midnight gathering...Here and there a devotee of this charming method of cookery has kept the custom of chafing dish meals alive, but for the most part it has been a lost art--until just very recently. The chafing dishes of the nineties were complicated affairs, and one almost had to be an expert firemaker to operate them. Today they are child's play in comparison--all electrified. And they are beautiful things, too. Made of shining chromium plated wear, which resists tarnish and need no polishing to keep them bright and and attractive. Chafing dish suppers are lots of fun: gay, informal affairs, and it seems only right that they would be revived. Let us hope that their popularity will be long continued....Almost any sort of creamed dish may be successfully prepared in a chafing dish. Among my favorites are Shrimp Wiggle, Creamed Mushrooms with Sweetbreads, and frizzled dried beef...

Shrimp Wiggle
1 cup cooked shrimp.
1 cup cooked green peas.
4 tablespoons flour.
4 tablespoons butter.
2 cups milk.
Salt and pepper.
Melt butter, add flour and blend thoroughly. Then add salt, and pepper, and the milk gradually, stirring constantly. Add shrimp and peas and cook until sauce is thick and well cooked and peas and shrimp are thoroughly heated."
---"Autumn's Arrival Sends Chafing Dish Back to Work," Marian Manners, Los Angeles Times, October 14, 1934 (p. B7)

"Every once in awhile someone asks us for a recipe for shrimp wiggle. When we told a friend we didn't know how the dish got its name, or where or whom, it originated, she hazarded a guess that it originally arrived witht he chafing dish. She siad her own acquaintence with shrimp wiggle went back to her college dormitory days in the 20's when she and her friends prepared it over canned heat with canned peas, canned shrimp and canned milk. Naturally they served it with crackers. Sure enough, in Fannie Farmer's 'Chafing Dish Possibilities' published in 1898, we find a recipe for shrimp wiggle composed of a thin white sauce and equal parts of cooked shrimp and green peas; salt and pepper are the only seasonings the austere Miss Farmer added. When that other old-time standard work, 'The Settlement Cook Book' got around to listing the dish, paprika was included. Later recipes, we notice, sometimes include onion. Here's our own latest version of shrimp wigge--with a goodly amount of Worcestershire sauce and some Tobasco Sauce, as well as a canned pimiento, to give it extra heat. This recipe is a fine one for career girls and busy mothers becuase it should be left in the refrigerator overnight so the sauce will thin and the flavors develop. We like it served with crisp buttered toast and a crisp tossed slad. Make the toast as usual, then butter it lavishly and put it in the oven on aluminum foil to get really crisp and have the butter soak in.

Shrimp Wiggle
Ingredients: 1 pound medium-sized shrimp, 1 can (1 pound and 1 ounce) young small geen peas, milk, 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, 4 tablespoons flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, Tobasco sauce, 1 diluted canned pimiento (nine oz.). Method: Cook the shrimp in lighly salted simmering water to cover, drain; devein. Cut each shrimp in half length-wise. Drain peas thoroughly; add enough milk to the pea liquid to make 2 cups. Melt butter in medium-sized saucepan over low heat; sitr in flour. Add milk mixture, all at once; cook and stir constantly over moderately low heat, until bubbly and thickened. Stir in salt, Worcestershire sauce, Tobasco sauce (to taste) and minced pimiento. Add shrimp and drained peas. Cover and cool. Turn into container; cover lightly; refrigerate overnight so sauce will thin and flavors develop. Reheat gently in saucepan over low heat, stiring often. Makes 4 seasonings."
---"Shrimp Wiggle is Busy Wife's Favorite," Cecily Brownstone (Associated Press Food Editor), Rocky Mountain Evening Telegram [North Carolina], Feburary 13, 1958 (p. 28)

"Q.You seem to be fascinated by odd names of foods around the world. Have you ever heard of an American dish called shrimp wiggle? And do you have a recipe? A. Indeed, I have heard of it, but it is nothing which I would take national pride. I will make the recipe as concise as possible. Blend four tablespoons each of butter and flour in a saucepan. Add two cups of milk and stir until well blended, thickened and smooth. Season with salt, pepper and celery salt and a little juice squeezed from grated onion. Add two cups of cooked, peeled, deveined srhrimp. Heat and serve. As to why the dish is called shrimp wiggle, who knows? As Edmund Wilson once wrote in an essay on an Agatha Christie novel, 'Who cares who killed Roger Ackroyd?'"
---"Q&A," New York Times, February 18, 1978 (p. C4)
[NOTE: This answer was reprinted in Craig Claiborne's The New York Times Encyclopedia, Joan Whitman compiler [Times Books:New York] 1985 (p. p. 405).]

citings, courtesy of Barry Popik.

Archaeological evidence suggests oysters were consumed from the dawn of humanity forwards. Easy to collect, nourishing and tasty, these versatile molluscs were consumed raw, cooked, and preserved. Recipes varied according to place and taste. General notes here:

"The beginnings of mollusc culturing is lost in antiquity, and although it has been suggested by some that the Chinese were the first to cultivate oysters, it is to the Romans that we must look for good evidence. Indeed, there seems little doubt that their energies in cultivating both oysters and snails had an important bearing on the food interest of later peoples in these molluscs."
---Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples, Don Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell [Johns Hopkins University Press:Baltimore] 1969 (p. 65)

"Oyster, bivalve shellfish which has been an article of food on Mediterranean coasts since prehistoric times. Heaps of oyster-shells were found by Heinrich Schliemann in his excavations at Mycenae. The classical Hellespont was rich in oysters, the city of Abydos in particular, according to Archestratus. Latin poets agree...The oysters of Britain, which must have been very new to Rome in Mucianus's time, came fro the Kent coast, as they do now...Oysters were a rich man's dish...and wealth was demonstrated by the consumption of large numbers of them...The fact that British oysters were available in Rome shows that they were preserved--presumably in brine, in barrels or earthenware jars--for dipatch on the long journey from the Channel coast."
---Food in the Ancient World from A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 245-246)

"Oyster-farming is only one branch of shell-fish farming in general, which covers the culture of all edible shellfish...From the dawn of time to the middle of the nineteenth century, the coasts of France had an almost uninterrupted succession of natural oyster beds; you had only to gather what you wanted. At the time of the Roman occupation they oyster culture was so well described by Ausonius in the fourth century had reached a degree of technical perfection almost the equal of today's. Then, with the barbarian invasions, both Atlantic and Mediterranean oyster farming ceased. Gastronomic history remains silent on the oyster for 1000 years, but the natural beds provided part of the everyday diet of coast-dwelling people. In large inland cities shellfish, difficulty and expensive to bring to market fresh, were the perrogative of the rich from the fourteenth century onwards. Pickled oysters were not to be despised, though...Whether as a result of thoughtless plundering of the beds (100 million oysters a year were gathered at Treguier and Cancale around 1775), or of a series of destructive storms around 1850 even diligent searching could produce only 83,000 dozen oysters. In 1852 Monsieur de Bon, the naval paymaster of Satint-Servan, had the idea of re-seeding the oyster beds in his sector by trying to collect the oyster spawn, or 'spat', with makeshift catchers. He succeeded, and set up new oyster beds on the emerging reefs."
---History of Food, Mauguelonne Toussaint-Samat, translated by Anthea Bell [Barnes & Noble Books:New York] 1992(p. 396)

"Oyster cookery flourished on both sides of the Atlantic in the 19th cetnury, when oysters were plentiful and cheap in both Britain and N. America. Dishes such as oyster stews and soups, fried oysters, oysters on skewers with bits of bacon, and oyster fritters were common."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford Univeristy Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2007 (p. 565)


Oysters in America

"In Britain, oysters have been eaten, and undoubtedly loved, since prehistoric times. There were a particular favorite of the Romans. In fifteenth-century London, oysters were "plentiful, very popular and on the whole inexpensive."...a sixteenth-century traveler to England said that the oysters "which were cried in every street" were better than any he had seen in Italy. Oysters were brined by seventeenth-century husbandmen, who bought them fresh to insure quality. The shells, rich in lime, were used as fertilizer...As with other fish in medieval and early modern England, oysters were often baked in heavily spiced pies, or stewed. Like other small fish, fresh oysters were sometimes fried immediately to prevent spoilage...Despite being inexpensive, oysters were enjoyed by all classes...Oyster-eating quickly became an American pastime...Oysters were served in colonial taverns, along with the usual tavern fare of fowl, beefsteaks, ham, and hot bread...Oysters only became more popular in the nineteenth century...Oyster houses, or saloons as they were often called, specialized in quick, fresh oyster meals. Richard Pillsbury states that they "began appearing in the late eighteenth century as some of the first freestanding restaurants in the nation." Advertised with red and white balloon-shaped signs, they were popular in every coastal city, frequented by lunchtime crowds of men. Some oyster saloons did set aside curtained booths or special rooms for women and faminlies. Commercial oyster eateries were organized along class lines...Nineteeth-century New England cookbooks abounded with "escaloped" oysters, oyster sauce, oyster soup, pie, and patties, stewed oysters, roasted oysters, and fried oysters. Nut oysters were also used in more esoteric recipes. For instance, Mrs. Lee offered "Oyster Attlets," which was a sweetbread, cut into small pieces, a slice or two of bacon, and oysters, seasoned with parsley, shallot, thyme, salt and pepper, then skewered, covered with bread crumbs, and broiled or fried. Oysters also became a condiments...Yankee tavern owners went to great lenghts to have supplies of oysters on hand throughout the winter months. In late autumn they stocked their cellars with oysters...burying them in beds of damp sea sand mixed with cornmeal. To theel their buried treasures alive, they watered the beds twice a week. The mollusks would be dug out of the pile as needed. Oyster pies and patties were favorite ways of serving cellar oysters, perhaps becuase oysters that ascended from the tavern depths were not as fresh as those from the briny deep...At midcentury, oyster parties were the rage among New England aristocracy, as they were in every sophistiscated metropolis...Like many popular foods, oysters were also considered medicinal...Despite the low price of oysters, recipes for mock oysters, made of salsify, the "vegetable oyster," as Lydia Maria Child called it, or of corn, often seasoned with mace, appeared in cookbooks throughout the nineteenth century...The oyster's association with New England, while never exclusive to the region, was strong enough to endur in nostalgic cookbooks."
---America's Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking, Keith Stavely & Kathleen Fitzgerald [University of North Carolina Press:Chapel Hill] 2004 (p.104-8)

"Oysters have long been considered a delicacy and have been cultivated for at least two thousand years. The American Indans of the coastal regions enjoyed them as a staple part of their diet, and the earliest European explorers marveled at oysters that were up to a foot in length. Cultivation began soon afterward, and Virginia and Maryland have waged "oyster wars" over offshore beds since 1632. Although the oyster may have been an expensive delicacy in Europe, it was a common item on eveyone's table in America. Bt the eighteenth century the urban poor were sustained by little more than bread and oysters. Coonia citizens dined regularly on chicken and oysters, and the mollusk was an economical ingredient for stuffing fowl and other meats. By the middle of the next century English traveler Charles Mackay could write in his book Life and Liberty in America (1859) that "the rich consume oysters and Champagne; the poorer classes consume oysters and large bier, and that is one of the principal social differences between the two sections of the community." Americans were oyster mad in the nineteenth century, and as people moved and settled westward, the demand for the bivalves in the interior regions grew accordingly. This demand was met by shipping oysters by stagecoach on the "Oyster Line" from Baltimore to Ohio, followed after the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 by canal boats laden with oysters. Canned or pickled varieties were available as far west as St. Louis, Missouri, by 1856...Every coastal city had its oyster vendors on the streets, and "oyster saloons," "cellars," or "houses" were part of urban life...Throughout the middle of the century oysters remained plentiful. Even when other foodstuffs were scarce in the Civil War, Union soldiers in Savannah sated their hunger with buckets full of oysters brought to them by the slaves they had liberated...Nowhere was the oyster more appreciated than in New Orleans, where several classic oyster recipes...were created...The demand for oysters was so high that by the 1880s the eastern beds began to be depleted."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 226-7)

"The changing role of that oysters played in American cuisine, from the wigwams of the Wampanoags to the famous New York City oyster saloons and gradually to the dining rooms from Boston to San Francisco, is a saga that progressed from sheer necessity to serendipity. The Indians taught the colonists to harvest and cook oysters in a stew that staved off hunger, and in 1610 food shortages in Jamestown, Virginia, led settlers to travel to the mouth of the James River, where oysters sustained them. Two centuries later, a feature of the American diet became a between-meal snack at a vendor's stand, and a dozen or two half shells became a prelude to a more substantial oyster pie or, on the West Coast, an oyster omelet known as Hangtown fry. Another dish utilizeing the mollusk was roasted fowl stuffed with oysters. By 1840, annual shipments of oysters from the Chesapeake Bay to Philadelphia had reached four thousand tons. By 1859, residents in New York City spent more on oysters than on butchers' meat. The oyster craze of the nineteenth century spread across the country by stagecoach, by boat when the Erie Canal opened to barges, and by rail when the railroads traveled westward. By the 1880s the demand for oysters was so great that the beds that stretched along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts began to be depleted..."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith, editor in chief [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 224-5)

Popular oyster dishes: oyster stuffing, Oysters Kirkpatrick, Oysters Rockefeller & Hangtown Fry.

Angels on horseback
Angels on Horseback is a popular 19th-early 20th century appetizer composed of skewered broiled oysters wrapped in bacon. Recipe synonyms include "oysters and bacon" and "pigs in blankets." Modern American readers think of
pigs-in-blankets as pastry wrapped mini sausages. An excellent lesson in how words, like recipes, change meaning over time. Devils on Horseback is a later recipe, generally substituting stuffed prunes for oysters.

"The angels are oysters wrapped in rashers of bacon, cooked quickly under the grill, and riding on slivers of toast. The dish is a British contribution to gastronomy, and it was popular as a hot savoury postlude to a meal in the later nineteenth century and early part of the twentieth century. It seems first to have been mentioned in the 1888 edition of Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management, which gives an alternate French name, anges a cheval. Now that oysters are decidedly on the luxury list, angels on horseback are often encountered in more downmarket version as party snacks, with cocktail sausages substituting for the shellfish."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 6)

Survey of historic recipes

Pigs in Blankets

Little Pigs in Blankets

"Little Pigs in Blankets

Season large oysters with salt and pepper; cut fat English bacon in very thin slices, wrap an oyster in each slice, and fasten with a little wooden skewer (toothpicks are the best things); heat a frying-pan and put in the 'little pigs;' cook just long enough to crisp the bacon--about 2 minutes; place on slices of toast that have ben cut into small pieces, and serve immediately; do not remove the skewers; this is a nice relish for lunch or tea, and, garnished with parsley, is a pretty one; the pan must be fery hot before the 'pigs' are put in, and then great care must be taken that they do not burn."
---Queen of the Household, Mrs. M. W. Ellsworth [Ellsworth & Brey:Detroit MI], 2nd edition 1900 (p. 287)

"Oysters and Bacon

[Huitres Bardees.]
3 Dozen Oysters. Thin Slices of Breakfast Bacon. Minced Parlesey. Sauce Piquante. Wrap each oyster in a very thin slice of breakfast bacon. Lay on a broiler over a baking pan in the hot oven. Remove when the bacon is brown. Each must be fastened with a wooden toothpick. Serve with minced parsley and pepper sauce, or Sauce Piquante."
---Times Picayune Creole Cook Book, facsimile 1901 edition [Dover Publications:Mineola NY] 1971(p. 60)

"4918. Anges a Cheval--Angels on Horseback

Take some nice large oysters and roll each in a thin slice of bacon. Impale them on a skewer, season them and grill. Arrange on toasted bread and at the last moment, sprinkle with fried breadcrumbs and a touch of Cayenne."
---Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery [Le Guide Culinaire 1903], A. Escoffier, translated by H.L. Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann [John Wiley:New York] 1979 (p. 577)

"Angels on Horseback

Ingredients.--12 oysters, 12 small thin slices of bacon, 12 small round croutes of fried bread, 1/2 a teaspoonful of finely-chopped shallot, 1/2 a teaspoonful of finely-chopped parsely, lemon-juice, Krona pepper. Method.--Beard the oysters, trim the bacon, cutting each piece just large enough to roll round an oyster, season with Krona pepper, sprinkle on a little shallot and parsely. Lay an oyster on each, add a few drops of lemon-juice, roll up tightly, and secure the bacon in position with a large pin. Fry in a frying-pan or bake in a hot oven just long enough to crisp wth bacon (further cooking would harden the oysters), remove the pin and serve on the croutes. Time.--20 minutes. Average cost, 1s 9d to 2s. 9d. Sufficient for 8 or 9 persons. Seasonable from September to March."
---Mrs. Beeton's Every-day Cookery, Isabella Beeton, new edition [Ward, Lock & Co.:London] 1909 (p. 148)

Toasted Angels

"Little Pigs in Blankets.

Season 12 oysters with salt and pepper. Wrap each oyster in a thn, short slice of bacon, and fasten with a toothpick. Heat a sauce pan and put in the little pigs; cook just long enough to crisp the bacon. Cut slices of toast into quarters and place one pig in its blanket on each small piece of toast. Serve immediately, garnihsed with parsley. Serves four."
---Ruth Wakefield's Tried and True Recipe, Ruth Graves Wakefield [M. Barrows & Comapny:New York] 1937 (p. 69)

"Pigs in Blankets.

Wrap raw oysters in thin slices of bacon. Fasten with toothpicks. Broil in high heat until bacon is crisp. Garnish with tartar sauce."
---The Lilly Wallace New American Cook Book, Lily Haxworth Wallace [Books, Inc:New York] 1943 (p. 106)
[NOTE: this book also includes are recipes for onions in blankets, cheese in blankets, chicken livers in blankets, shrimps in blankets, olives in blankets and stuffed prunes in blankets.]

"Pigs in Blankets

Clean oysters...Wrap half a thin slice of bacon around each oyster and fasten with toothpick. Arrange on a wire rack in a baking pan. Bake in a hot oven of 425 degrees F. until the bacon is crisp and brown--about 20 min. Remove toothpicks and serve."
---Good Housekeeping Cook Book, completely revised 7th edition [Farrar & Rinehart:New York] 1944 (p. 317)

"Angels on Horseback

These are oysters rolled in bacon, fastened with a skewer, and either grilled or baked in a quick oven 5-6 minutes. Two rolls may be allowed per person and they are served on hot buttered toast."
---Constance Spry Cookery Book, Constance Spry & Rosemary Hume [Pan Books:London] 1956 (p. 36)

What about Devils on Horseback?

"Devils on horseback are an adapation of angels on horseback...The diabolical version replaces the oysters with prunes or plums. The name first appears in thh early twentieth century, and right from the beginning it seems often to have been used simply as a synonym for angels on horseback."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 1-9)

"One of the British savouries which was popular for a time bore the name Devils on horseback and consisted of prunes stuffed with chutney, rolled up in rashers of bacon, placed on buttered bread and sprinkled with grated cheese, and cooked under the grill. The absence of cayenne pepper or other hot condiments suggests that in this instance the word 'devil' was introduced as a counterpart to 'angel' in Angels on horseback..."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition edited by Tom Jaine [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2006 (p. 248)

Historic cookbooks reveal several interpretations on the Devil & Horseback culinary theme:

"Devils on Horseback, Divinity Hill

12 thin slices cold chicken, turkey or veal
12 Gardiner's Island, Robbins Island or other large Oysters
12 slices bacon
Brown sauce
Sliced tomatoes, parsley
Spear on each of six small skewers 2 pieces of meat, 2 oysters and two pieces of bacon, fastening each thogether well mixed. Brush with melted butter, place under a broiler and broil; turning once or twice. Serve on toast, garnished with Brown Sauce, parsley, tomatoes."
---Long Island Seafood Cook Book, J. George Frederick [Business Bourse:New York] 1939 (p. 98)

"Devils on Horseback

12 large prunes or French plums
1/2 bay-leaf
water or red wine to cover
stuffings of:
(a) a fillet of anchovy curled round an almond , or
(b) chopped mango chutney, or
(c) an olive stoned and stuffed with pimento
1/2 thin rasher of bacon for each prune
buttered toast
Pour boiling water or hot red wine over prunes; leave half an hour. Simmer in same liquid with half a bay-leaf till tender. If wine is used allow it to be absorved by the prunes until it has practically disappeared. Cool prunes and stone. Fill with any one of the fillings given. Flatten each half-rasher on a board and wrap round a prune. Set on a tin, bake in a hot oven 7-10 minutes. Set each on a piece of hot buttered toast. Arrange a buch of watercress in the centre of the dish."
---Constance Spry Cookery Book, Constance Spry & Rosemary Hume [Pan Books:London] 1956 (p. 36) (p. 35-6)

Related food?
Pigs in Blankets (pastry wrapped sausages)

Oysters Kirkpatrick
Modern food historians generally agree the dish called "Oysters Kirkpatrick" was first served in San Francisco's Palace Hotel in the second decade of the twentieth century. Of course, most dishes are not invented. They descend from a long line of related items. Recipes combining broiled oysters and bacon were very popular in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries. They range from traditional fare (Angels on Horseback) to spicy selections (Devilled oysters). Oysters Kirkpatrick fall neatly between the two extremes. Notes & recipes here:

"Oysters Kirkpatrick. New Orleans, with its Oysters Rockefeller, has nothing on us, with our Oysters Kirkpatrick. This dish was named in honor of John C. Kirkpatrick, onetime manager of the Palace, in San Francisco. It was, of course, conceived in their kitchen. Like all recipes of renown, this one has many versions--but who am I to quibble with the Palace Hotel's own recipe, graciously sent for inclusion in this book. "Open oysters on deep shell, put in oven for about 3 or 4 minutes until oysters shrink, Pour off the liquor, then add small strip of bacon and cover with catsup and place in a very hot oven for about 5 or 6 minutes (according to oven) until glazed to a nice golden brown." Here's another way it's done, or am I quibbling? Allow pieplates or deep ovenproof plates, one for each serving, and fill them with rock salt within an inch of their tops. Put them into the oven to become very hot. The oysters, usually 6 to a serving, are opened and left in their deep shells, which are placed in little indentations made in the hot salt. On top of each oyster is spread a spoonful of tomato catsup whcih has been mixed with finely minced green pepper. On this goes a piece of partially cooked bacon, next some grated cheese, awith a small dab of butter as the finishing touch. The pans are returned to the oven (450 degrees F.) until the cheese is nicely browned. NOTE: Apparently this entire--and very good-business of roasting oysters in a pan of salt was originally just that--an oyster salt roast. But chefs were bound to add their distinctive touches, it's the artist in them. One was called "Oysters a la Mali," and was a bit more elaborate than most. A sauce made with 1/4 cup of cooked chopped spinach, a tablespoon of minced parsley, a tablespoon of minced tarragon, a clove of garlic, 1/4 cup of butter, a teaspoon of salt, and a cup of white wine, was mixed with 12 ground and drained poached oysters. This mixture was spread on the oysters in their shells (see above). They were then sprinkled with buttered crumbs and baked until brown."
---West Coast Cook Book, Helen Brown, 1952 facsimile reprint [Cookbook Collectors Library] (p. 148-9)

"Oysters Kirkpatrick. A dish of baked oysters, green pepper, and bacon. The creation of this dish is credited to chef Ernest Arbogast of the Palm Court (later the Garden Court) of San Francisco's Palace Hotel. named after Colonel John C. Kirkpatrick, who managed the hotel from 1894 to 1914, the dish was already well known by the end of his tenure, when Clarence E. Edwards wrote in Bohemian San Francisco (1914) that the dish was merely a variation on the "oyster salt roast" served at Mannings' Restaurant on the corner of Pine and Webb streets."
---The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 228)
[NOTE: Mariani's book offers this recipe for Oysters Kirkpatrick which is "supposedly the original" :Combine 1 c. ketchup, 1 c. chili sauce, 1 t. Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 t. A1 sauce, 1 t. chopped parsley, and half a small chopped green pepper. Cut bacon slices into thirds, and cook halfway. Shuck oysters, dip them into sauce, and place them in shells. Place oysters on a bed of rock salt, cover with bacon, and sprinkle on Parmesean cheese. Bake at 400 degress F. until bacon is crisp."]

"Oysters Kirkpatrick

This secret was divulged to us by Chef Theodore Hohl of the University Club, and is about the best ever. Make a sauce, using two-thirds as much chili sauce as horseradish. Place the oysters in the half shell, pour the sauce over them with a strip of bacon over each. Bake in the oven until the edges of the oysters curl."
---"Requested Recipes," Marian Manners, Los Angeles Times, November 17, 1934 (p. A7)

Oysters Rockefeller
Oysters figure prominently in traditional New Orleans cuisine. They are featured in a variety of recipes. Oysters Rockefeller is attributed to Jules Alciatore of
Antoine's. Notes here:

"Oysters Rockefeller. A dish of oysters cooked with watercress, scallions, celery, anise and other seasonings. It is a specialty created in 1899 by Jules Alciatore of Antoine's Restaurant in New Orleans...The original recipe for oysters Rockefeller has never been revealed...There does appear a recipe, however, in a 1941 compilation by Ford Naylor called the World Famous Chefs' Cook Book, in which the author contends, "Every recipe in this book, with few exceptions, is a secret recipe which has been jealously guarded..." The recipe for "Oysters a la Rockefeller" is given above the name "Antoine's Restaurant, New Orleans"..."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 228)

"Oysters Rockefeller was created in 1899 by my great-grandfather Jules Alciatore. At that time there was a shortage of snails coming from Europe to the United States and Jules was looking for a replacement. He wanted this replacement to be local in order to avoid any difficulty in procuring the product. He chose oysters. Jules was a pioneer in the art of cooked oysters, as they were rarely cooked before this time. He created a sauce with available green vegetable products, producing a richness that he named it after one of the wealthiest men in the United States, John D. Rockefeller. I have estimated that we have served over three million, five hundred thousand orders--quite a large number, considering that they have all been served in a single gourmet restaurant. The original recipe is still a secret that I will not indulge. As many times as I have seen recipes printed in books and articles, I can honestly say that I have never found the original outside of Antoine's."
---Antoine's Restaurant Since 1840 Cookbook, Roy F. Guste, Jr. [Norton:New York] 1980 (p. 32)

Why the name? In Alciatore's own words: "Oysters Rockefeller was one of his most famous dishes, named, he told his patrons, 'because I know no other name rich enough for their richness.'"---Jules Alciatore, obituary, Associated Press, New York Times, September 13, 1934 (p. 23)

Might this be the "secret" recipe?

"To dine at Antoine's is, after all, to learn by contrast that you would rather have simpler things, but that a name means a great deal when it comes to foods...We had had oysters Rockefeller elsewhere, but the ony recipes we brought away with us were the one for this and one for the soup we had. These were the only ones printed on the great sheet, giving a history of the house, which we received as a souvenier. The last section of this begins: 'Monsieur Jules has invented many dishes which have added to the name of his house, chief among them being huites en coquille a la Rockefeller. Rockefeller's name sugests the golden flavor, that's why it was added to the huitres, which is French for oysters....Jules is extremely reluctant about giving away the secrets of his kitchen, but after some coaxing he was induced to part with the following while slowly sipping his cognac after luncheron.

"Huitres en Coquille a la Rockefeller--Raw oysters whtih a dressing made as follows, the quantity of the ingredients to depend upon the size of the order. One bunch of shallots, one bunch of parsley, two pounds of butter, one bottle of Spanish walnuts, half a bunch of tarragon leaves, two stale loaves of French bread, salt and pepper, and a liberal sprinkling of tabasco sauce. All of these things are pounded into a pulp in a mortar, and then ground in a sausage machine, the mass being finally passed through a needle sifter. The oysters on the half shell are covered with the sauce and then placed in a hot oven to bake just three minutes. The oysters must be served at once."
---"French Specialties," Jane Eddington, Winnipeg Free Press [Canada], March 27, 1912 (p. 9)

Archaelogical evidence suggests people have been eating
mollusks since the dawn of human time. Scallops belong to this edible family. Food historians confirm ancient Romans enjoyed these delicious morsels. By the 17th century, one of the more popular methods for serving this particular bivlave mollusk was to slice it up, mix it with a sauce, add some bread crumbs and bake it in its shell. Other foods readily adapted to this method and were similary prepared.

Tracing the evolution of scallop cookery is challenging because the word is used in several contexts with different spellings. Dishes titled scallop, scollop, collop, and escalope can be referring to the mollusk. They can also be describing a method for preparing any kind of minced meat baked in cream sauce, sometimes presented in a scallop shell. Recipes reflect local place and taste. Indeed, definitions of scalloped dishes are all over the culinary map.

What is a scallop?
"Scallop, an edible mollusk which exists in many species around the world and is highly esteemed in almost all regions, although not in Southeast Asia...Scallops do not crawl or burrow, so do not have a large 'foot'. Instead, they have a highly developed adductor muscle, by means of which they can open and close their shells and so propel themselves through the water. The Japanese name for scallop means, literally, 'full-sail fish'. from the manner of its movement with one shell raised. Not all scallops exercise this ability. Some remain anchored by a byssus to some solid object..."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p.703-704)

Ancient world culinary applications
"Scallop, a group of bivalve shellfish. They are among the best of shellfish gastronomically; their flavour is finest in spring when they spawn, as observed by Aristotle, These were cooked as a separate dish; 'grilled and served with vinegar and silphium they tend to loosen the bowels owing to their excessive sweetness; they are juicier and easier to digest is they are bake,' according to Xenocrates. They were also used as an ingredient, for example, in the souffle-like dish spumeum for this Anthimus gives a recipe. Scallops...belong to the family Pectinidae. Several species are common in the Mediterranean, and Xenocrates goes into some detail on their qualities. Other ancient authors focus on two kinds, each of which was at its best in a specified locality."
---Food in the Ancient World from A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 295)

English food notes
"Scallops. The scallop is a shell-fish somewhat larger than an oyster, and somewhat resembling it in shape. It is somethign like a crab in taste. It may be served in two or three ways, and is generally highly esteemed where it is known. The scallop may enter appropriately into any fish pie, though it should be boiled previously. It is best when scalloped. The deep shells of the scallop should be carefully preserved after they are used, and will be used when it is wished to 'scallop' the remains of dressed fish of any kind."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875 (p. 841)

"Scallop. This is a fish somewhat similar to an oyster in shape, but larger; it tastes rather like a crab. It may be served in various ways, and may enter into the composition of fish pies. The deep shells should be preeserved, as they are useful for sending 'scalloped fish' to table; any kind may be prepared and served in them. We would add that scallops, when not in good conditino, are most objectionable in flavour, and also very unwholesome. Cost, about a penny each."
---Cassell's New Universal Cookery Book, Lizzie Heritage [Cassell and Company:London] 1894 (p. 184)

"Scallop...The most familiar species in British waters if the great scallop...which has radially ribbed shells with an undulated edge the top shell being cruved and the bottom one flat. It is commonly found on the coasts of the English Channel and the Atlantic. There are also several other varieties, form the small bay scallop to the larger deepwater scallop...There are many ways of cooking them. They can be fried in batter or baked in white wine, sauce mornay, or sauce creme, but the simpler methods are best for preserving the delicacy of the flesh. They are particularly good poached in a little sherry and water, then drained (the liquid being reserved) and turned in butter; then the stock and the butter are poured over and drecuded over a hot flame, and the scallops are seared in the sauce. Scallopes served ina sauce mornay have come to be known in English-sepaking countries as coquilles-St.-Jascuqes, which in France is simply the common general name for all scallops. The deeper, rounded scallop shells, well scrubbed, may sometimes be used as a container for the scallop dish, which can then be cooked in the shell and served from it, if it is large enough. In the U.S. scallops are smaller than thouse found off British coasts; they also have no coral but only a small bluish-white roe, and they do not have as good a flavour."
---The Food of the Western World, Theodora Fitzgibbon [Quadrangle/New York Times Book Co.:New York] 1976 (p. 418)

Scallops in the USA
"Like mussels, scallops ranked far below lobsters, oysters and eve clams among New England shellfish in the nineteenth century... Two varieties are regarded as good for food: the bay scallop...and the larger sea scallop...Bay scallops have short lives...and htey flouirs south of Cape Cod in areas with abundant eelgrass, on which the larvae settle temporarily...The scallop was a relative latecomer to the market. Although Catharine Beecher mentions scallops in 1846, they did not regularly appear in New England cookbooks until the 1870s...Connecticut oystermen first tapped the scallop resources of Long Island's Peconic Bay in the 1850s, eventually creating a demand in New York for this fall delicacy. By the time scalloping was recognized as a distinct fishery of the 1880s, commercial scallopers generally employed openers--often women--to pick out the meats and pack them for market. Yet this fishery did not take off until the 1920s and 1930s, when sea scallops were discovered on Georges Bank and improvements in transportation and marketing made it possible to get both bay and sea scallops to more people, in the coast and inland."
---Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and their food, at sea and ashore, in the nineteenth century, Sandra L. Oliver [Mystic Seaport Museum:Mystic CT] 1995 (p. 390)

"Scollops. This shell-fish is used about the same as a clam, but is not so popular, owing to a peculiary sweet flavor. It is in season from September to March, and is sold shelled, as only the muscular part of the fish is used."
---Miss Parloa's New Cook Book, Maria Parloa [Estes and Lauriat:Boston] 1880, 1886 (p. 48)

"The seas is full of both fearful and beautiful things--but none lovelier than the fluted shellfish, the scallop. The scallop is also, I believe, a misrepresented fish. The scallop is of two kinds, the large deep-sea scallop and the lesser size bay or cape kind, found in the the general North Atlantic waters, includise of some water off Long Isalnd. Long Island Bay Scallops are a preferred item. Most of us think a scallop looks lke what we see for sale, but waht we see is onlyt the abductor muschole which holds this mollusk's shells together. There are gourments who like the body part of the scallop. At Tome Moore's restaurant in Bermuda, and a t certain European places, it is served as a delicacy. But the muscle of the scallop is itself surely good eating--even raw (which is not usually known)."
---Long Island Seafood Cook Book, J. George Frederick [Business Bourse:New York] 1937 (p. 208-209)

"Scallops, like oysters and clams, are mollusks. The single large muscle that opens and closes the shell is the edible portion. The most popular fresh scallops are Bay Scallops which are small, pinkish white 3/4" cubes coming from bays. These are sold only during the oyster season. The large scallops, known as Sea Scallops are cubes of 2" or more, which come from the sea and are not quite so finely flavored as the bay scallops. They are in season the year round. In using these sea scallops, they may be split across the grain to a thickness of about 3/4". Packaged quick-frozen bay scallops may be purchased all year round in many parts of the country." ---Good Housekeeping Cook Book, completely revised 7th edition edition [Farrar & Rinehart:New York] 1944 (p. 318)

"The choicest scallops to be had are the small bay scallops, about 1/2 inch thick and a pinkish white. They are in season from early fall until late spring. The larger, or deeo-sea, scallops are in season the year round. Scallops may be either sauteed in butter, dipped in fritter batter and fried in deep hot fat (380 degrees F.), or dipped in melted butter and broiled very quickly. They are often served with crisp bacon or in combination with other seafood dishes. Tiny bay scallops, served raw with a cocktail sauce, will be found very palatable."
---Fireside Cook Book, James A. Beard [Simon and Schuster:New York] 1949 (p. 65)

Scallop recipes through time:

[Ancient Rome]
"46. A Dish of Scallops
. Isicia Ex Spondylis. [Lightly] cook scallos [or the firm part of oysters] remove the hard and objectionable parts mince the meat very fine, mix this with cooked spelt and eggs, season with pepper [shape into croquettes and wrap] in caul, fry, underlay a rich fish sauce and serve as a delicious entree."
---Apicius: Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome, edited and translated by Joseph Dommers Vehling, facsimile 1936 edition [Dover Publications:New York] 1977 (p. 63-64)

[1685: England]
"To stew Scollops.
Boil them very well in white wine, fair water, and salt, take them out of the shells, and stew them with some of the liquor elder vinegar, two or three cloves, some large mace, and some sweet herbs chopped small; being well stewed together, dish four or five of them in scollop shelpps and beaten butter, with the juice of two or three oranges."
---The Accomplisht Cook, Robert May, facsimile 1685 edition [Prospect Books:Devon] 2000 (p. 400)
[NOTE: "Shells" implies mollusks.]

"To Stew Scollops.
Boil them bery well in Salt and Water, take them out and stew them in a little of the Liquor, a little White Wine, and a little Vinegar, two or three Blads of Mace, two or three Cloves, a Piece of Butter rolled in Flour, and the Juice of a Seville Orange. Stew tem well and dish them up."
---Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy, Hannah Glasse, 1747 facsimile edition [Prospect Books::Devon] 1995 (p. 96)
[NOTE: This recipe is included with other shellfish. We can assume this scollop was a mollusk.]

"To Stew Scollops.
Open a dozen Scollops; and take them out as whole as you can, put htem in a sauce-pan and set them, then strain the liquor form them through a sieve, wash them well in cold water, take off the beards and the black spot, put them into a stew-pan, drain the liquor from the settlings, and put to them a gill of white wine and a spoonful of ketchup, season them with a little beaten mace, pepper, and salt, put in a little butter mixed with flour, stew them gently till they are as thick as cream, squeeze in the juice of a Seville orange, put them in a hot dish, and garnish with fried sippets.
"To Fricassee Scollops. Open a dozen scollops, and take them out as whole as you can, put them in a sauce-pan and set them, then strain the liquor form them through a sieve, wash them very clean in cold water, take off the beards and the black spot, put them in a stew pan, pour the liquor from the settlings and put in, season them with a little beaten mace, Cayan pepper and salt, and put in a little butter mixed with flour, keep them stirring till thick and smooth, mix the yolks of an egg with half a pint of cream, grate in a little nutmeg, put it in, and keep shaking the pan till it is near boiling, but do not let it boil, for fear of curdling, squeeze in the juice of a Seville orange, and give it a shake round; then put them in a hot dish, and garnish with toasted sippets."
---The New Art of Cookery According to the Present Practice, Richard Briggs [W. Spotswood, R Campbell and B. Johnson:Philadelphia] 1792 (p. 100-101)

"To Boil Scollops.
--Wash them clean, then put them in a pot, the edges downwards. When all are in, put to them a pint of water, cover it close, and set it over a hot fire; when the shells are wide open and the inside loosens, they are done; then take them out ant trim them clean; add pepper and salt, and a good sized bit of butter, and some of the liquor in which they were boiled; dredge over a little flour, and put the whole into a stew-pan, over the fire for ten minutes. Have some thin slices of bread nicely toasted, cut it small, put it in a deep dish, and pour the scollops over."
---Mrs. Crowen's American Lady's Cookery Book, Mrs. T.J. Crowen [Dick & Fitzgerald:New York] 1847 (p. 50)

"To Cook Scollops.
Boil them, take out the hearts (which is the only part used), dip them in flour and fry brown in lard, or stew with butter, pepper, salt and a little water.z" ---Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book, Catharine E. Beecher, facsimile 1858 editon [Dover Publications:Mineola NY] 2001 (p. 65)

[1875:England] Scalloped Scallops

"2158. To Cook Scollops.
Place the scollops round side down on top of a hot stove until the shells open. Remove the top shell and detach the fish by cutting underneath it with a pliable knife. Wash the scollops very well in plenty of water then poach them gently for 8-10 minutes in a White Wine Court-bouillon. When cooked, cut the round white part into thick slices, the red tongue or coral into slices and the beard into a Salpicon.
"2159. Coquilles Saint-Jacques au Gratin. Scrub the deep scollop shells well, dry them and coat the bottom of each with Sauce Duxullea plus 1/2 tbs white wine. Place the slices of white flesh, coral and beard on top, surround with slices of raw mushrooms and cover with Sauce Duxelles. Sprinke with white breadcrumbs and melted butter and gratinate in the usual manner for a Complete Gratin."
---The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, translated by H.L. Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann [John Wiley & Sons:New York] 1979 (p. 254-255)
[NOTE: Escoffier also offers recipes for Coquilles Saint-Jacques a la Nantiase & a la Parisienne]

"Baked Scallops.
Take the scallops out of their shells and trim off the beards and all the blakc parts. Wash the deep shells of the scallops, bry them,put in the scallops, and pour one-half tablespoonful of vinegar over each. Blanch a bunch of parsley andchop it finely; mix it wiht the grated breadcrumbs, season to taste with pepper and salt, and bind the mixture into a paste with a little milk. Spread some of the paste over each shell, strew a few dried breadcrumbs on the top, and put a small piece of butter on each. Place themin a brisk oven and bake for twenty minutes. Serve the scallops very hot and in their shells, on a folded napkin on a dish."
"Fried Scallops. Trim off the beards and the black parts, clean the scallops well and drain them. Put a lump of lard into a flat stewpan, place it over the fire until blue smoke rises, then put in the scallops and fry them until lightly browned. Drain them for a moment on a sheet of paper, arrange them on a hot dish over which has been spread a folded napkin garnished with fried parsley, and serve."
"Stewed Scallops. Put some scallops in a stewpan with a half blade of mace, a little sugar and sufficient water to cover them; stew gently by the edge of the fire for about thirty minutes or until tender. Put one and one-half ounces of butter in a stewpan with one tablespoonful of lfour and mix it over the fire, then stir in some of the liquor in which the scallops were stewed, three tablespoonfuls of cream and flavor with a little grated nutmeg. Arrange the scallops on a hot dish, pour the suace over them and serve." (p. 117-118)
---The Cook Book by "Oscar" of the Waldorf, Oscar Tschirky [Saafield Publishing:Chicago] 1908

"Fried Oysters or Scallops.
Drain oysters or scallops and remove any bits of shell; dry between towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roll in flour. Dip into 1 beaten egg, mixed with 1 tablespoon water, then into dry bread crumbs. Fry golden brown in deep fat (375 degrees F.). Drain on absorbent paper. Serve with hot Tartare Sauce.
---My Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book, 5th edition, 1930, 1939 [Meredith Publishing Company:Des Moines IA]

"Raw Scallops, Cutchoque.
36 Scallops, Marinade, Cocktail sauce, Lemon slices, Salt. For 10 minutes let the washed scallops lie in a marinade consisting of 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon tarragon vinegar, 1 tablespoon Chablis (or any dry white wine), 1 small sliced onion, 1 clove of garlic, 1 sprig parsley and 1/2 bay leaf. Then serve with oyster crackers and oyster cocktail sauce, or salt and lemon slices."
---Long Island Seafood Cook Book, J. George Frederick [Business Bourse:New York] 1937 (p. 208-209)
[NOTE: this book also offers recipes for Scallps and Oyter-Crabs Seaford, Scallop Fry Plum Island, Scallops and Mussels en Brochette, Scallop Stew Shroham, Whole Fresh Scallops Bermuda, Scallops and Mushrooms Glen Head, Scallop Soup Merrick Road, Deviled Scallops Sea Biscuit, Scallops Thermidor, Baked Scallops Bossedrt, Scallops Filippini, Scallops au Diable, Srhimp and Scallop Loaf Northport and Oysters and Scallops Jambalaya. Several of the appelations reflect Long Island (NY), both Nassau and Suffolk counties.]

"Chinese Scallops.
With scallops plentiful on the East Coast and frozen scallops available in most grocery stores, you can try this recipe any time. 2 pounds fresh scallops, 2 tablespoons peanut or salad oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 large onion, chopped, 4 bell peppers. Wash scallops, remove muscle, and slice. Wash peppers, remove seeds, and dice. Heat oil in a heavy skillet, add scallops, and saute about two minutes, stirring constantly. Add the finely chopped onion, seasoning, and diced peppers, mix well and cook about three minutes more."
---Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, Victor Bergeron [Doubleday & Company:Garden City NY] 1946 (p. 170-171)

"Scallops As-We-Do-Them
. Call those of us who live on Shelter Island spoiled, but we bring the scallops in from the Bay, wash, brush, and open them at once, then roll them lightly in wine, water-ground corn meal, and deep fry them. Any good cooking oil will do. Use a frying basket and have the oil hot but not smoking (370 degrees F.). Fry only 2 or 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve at once with tartare sauce. And this, as a friend of mine once put it, is 'scallops as the old Scallopers do them.'"
---Martha Deane's Cooking for Compliments, Marian Young Taylor (WOR's Martha Deane)[M. Barrows & Company:New York] 1954 (p. 105)
[NOTE: Shelter Island is located in the Long Island Sound, NY.]

"Golden Scallops.
In large skillet, heat 2 tablesp. butter or margarine, 1/2 teasp. salt, 1/8 teasp. pepper, and 1/4 teasp. paprika till bubbling hot. Add 2 tablesp. minced onion or one slivered clove garlic. Using 1 lb. bay scallops (1 pt.) in all, drop in enough scallops to cover bottom of skillet (don't crowd). Sautee over high heat, tossing occasionally, 5 to 7 min., or until golden; remove to heated platter. Repeat. Sprinkle scallops with snipped parsley. Serve with lemon wedges or with sauteed, sliced mushrooms or crumbled crisp bacon. Makes 4 or 4 servings."
---Good Housekeeping Cook Book, Dorothy B. Marsh editor [Good Housekeeping:New York] 1955 (p. 191)

"Scallops en Brochette
(4 servings) Skewered Scallops. 2 pound scallops, salt and pepper to taste, 1 1/2 cups dry vermouth, 1/2 cup chopped fennel leaves, cherry tomatoes, salad oil. 1. Wash and dry scallops and saeson with salt and pepper. 2. Combine vermouth and fennel leaves and marinate scallops for about 2 hours in this mixture. 3. Alternate scallops and tomatoes on skewers and roll them in oil. 4. Grill slowly until scallops are a light golden color."
---The White House Chef Cookbook, Rene Verdon [Doubleday & Company:Garden City NY] 1967 (p. 96-97)

"Happy Hour Scallops.
1 lb scallops, 6 slices toasted white bread, 1/2 lb. bacon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, 3 tablespoons dry white wine. Cut toast into 1-inch squares. Cut bacon slices in half and wrap a slice of bacon around each toast square. Salt and pepper scallops. Alternate scallops and bacon-wrapped toast on small skewers. Heat butter and wine until butter is melted. Put skewers under broiler and baste frequently with the butter and wine until scallops are done and bacon is brown. Serves 3."
---Stewed to the Gills: Fish and Wine Cookery, Esther Lewin and Birdina Lewin [Nash Publishing:Los Angeles] 1971 (p. 155)

What does it mean when a dish is "scalloped?"
"Scallop," as verb, refers to the method introduced by the French for serving finely minced protein mixed in cream sauce, topped with breadcrumbs then baked in an oven. Presumably, the practice descends from ancient minced dishes. Scalloped dishes may be served as hors d'oeuvres or side dishes.
"Au Gratin" dishes are related.

Fish, oysters, chicken, vegetables, and even scallops can be scalloped. Some recipes are actually baked in real scallop shells purposely saved or purchased for "authentic" presentation. The use of real scallop shells ("en coquilles") varies according popular culinary trends, cycling between economical to artful to vulgar and back again. Silver dishes shaped like scallop shells were highly prized in the 19th century. Most scalloped dishes are simply baked en casserole. What's the difference between scalloped dish and casserole? The latter, at least on modern American tables, generally includes a grain starch (rice or pasta).

Linguists confirm escalopes, scallopini and collops also descend from this etymological line. These terms, however, have very different meanings. They refer to a thin, breaded sauteed fillet of "white" meat, typically veal, chicken or other fowl. Think: Wiener schnitzel & country fried steak.

A survey of definitions and recommended practices through time:
"Scalloped. A culinary term originally used to describe creamed dishes cooked in a scallop shell. In the U.S., however, it is now used particularly to describe sliced vegetables, fish, poultry, fruit, etc., cooked in a sauce or liquid in the oven and served from the dish in which they are cooked. Scaloppe, Italian for large ecalopes (scallops) of veal...Scaloppine, and alternative name for piccate or small scaloppe."
---The Food of the Western World, Theodora Fitzgibbon [Quadrangle/New York Times Book Co.:New York] 1976 (p. 418-419)

"Scalloped dishes are generally those made with a cream base such as scalloped oysters, scalloped potatoes, scalloped clams, and so on. At times, the cream base consists of a thickened sauce, sometimes pure cream. Many scalloped dishes are made with bread crumbs or cracker crumbs. The dishes, after they are assembled--frequently in layers--and dotted with butter, are baked until bubbling hot and golden brown. The term "scalloped" presumably came about because such foods were served in scallop shells."
---Craig Claiborne's The New York Times Food Encyclopedia, Craig Claiborne [Times Books:New York] 1985 (p. 392)

"Remarks on the Coquilles, or Shells used for Hors d'Oeuvres. The natural shells of fish, which are still used in some establishments, are objectionable; I would recommend their being superceded in all cases by light silver shells or coquilles, which are preferable for the preparation of these hors d'oeuvre, and, morever, always look well when brought to table."
---Royal Cookery Book, Jules Gouffe, translated by Alphonse Gouffe [Sampson, Low, Son and Marston:London] 1869 (p. 319)
[NOTE: This book offers "en coquilles" recipes for chicken, oysters, lobster, shrimps, mussels, crayfish tails, carp roes, sole and turbot. Not scallops.]

Escalope, collop, scallop & scalopini
"Escalope, Collop.--Slices of meat or fish of any kind flattened slightly and fried in butter or some other fat. In former times the term was used of a dish of sliced meat, for instance, sliced mutton would be called une escalope de mouton."
---Larousse Gastronomique [Crown:New York] 1961 (p. 405)

"Escaloper. A French culinary term meaning to carve thin slices (escalopes) of meat, such a veal or poultry, large fish filets, lobster or certain vegetables, such as mushroom caps or artichoke hearts."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely Revised and Updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001(p. 465)

"Scollops. What do cooks mean by always talking of scollops--scollops of beef, scollops of veal, scollops of breasts of fowl? What are scollops? They mean little slices, and they are a corruption of collops. It is one of the most curious things about the kitchen that, either because cooks are in general very ignorant, or because they love to mystify their dishes, the terms we use for food are the most corrupt of any in the language."
---Kettner's Book of the Table, E.S. Dallas, facsimile 1877 edition [Centaur Press:London] 1968 (p. 420-421)

"Scaloppina...A thin, pounded piece of meat, usually sauteed with a wide variety of ingredients on top."
---Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink, John Mariani [Broadway Books:New York 1998 (p. 233) [NOTE: "scaloppini" is plural.]

Scalloped recipes
Our survey of historic recipes confirms the word "scallop" (aka scollop) meant different things at different times. Context clues are key, because recipes often assume the reader/cook understands what is meant. In the selected recipes below, the term scollop/scallop can refer to the mollusk, a fillet of boneless fowl, and baking creamed minced fish in a scallop shell. Vegetable scallops first surface in the early 19th century. Most popular versions are potatoes, corn, tomatoes and spinach.

"To Scollop Tomatas.
Peel off the skin from large, full, ripe tomatas--put a layer in the bottom of a deep dish, cover it well with bread grated fine; sprinkle on pepper and salt, and lay some bits of butter over them--put another layer of each, till the dish is full-let the top be covered with crumbs and butter--bake it a nice brown."
---The Virginia Housewife, Mary Randolph, facsimile 1824 edition [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia] 1984 (p. 236-7)

"No. 23.--Scollops of Fowls with Cucumbers.
Take off the fillets of three fowls, cut your scollops of the size of a half-crown piece, dip them into some clarified butter, in a saute-pan, sautez them over a brisk fire on both sides, and throw them into sauce of cucumbers. The shortest way of making the scollops, and likewise retaining all the gravy, is to sautez the fillets just a dinner time, and to scollop them quickly."
---The French Cook, Louis Eustache Ude, facsimile 1828 Englished editio [Arco Publishing:New York] 1978 (p. 168)
[NOTE: This book also offers recipes for Scollops of Fowls with Essence of Cucumbers, Scollops of Fowls with Truffles, Scollops of fowls with puree of Green Peas, Scollops of Rabbits au fumet.]

"Scolloped Oysters.
Pound fine, rusked bread or crakers, butter scollop shells or tins, sprinkle on the bread stuff put in a layer of oysters, a bit of butter, salt, pepper, and a little of the oyster liquor; add another layer of crumbs, and oysters, and so on till the shells are filled, placing a layer of the bread stuff on the top, bake them till of a light brown in a Dutch oven." (P. 74) "Baked Corn Pudding. Grate green sweet corn; to three teacups of it, add two quarts of milk, eight eggs, a greated nutmeg, two teaspoonfuls of salt, and six spoonfulls of drawn butter--bake one hour--serve it up with sauce to taste."
---The Improved Housewife, Mrs. A. L. Webster [Hartford:1844] (p. 77)

"Scolloped Tomatoes.
--Peel six fine tomatoes, (pour scalding water over, if the skins do not come off readily,) and press the sees and juice from then, butter as scolloped tin plate, put to the tomatoes two tablespoonsful of bread crumbs, a teaspoonful of salt, and a saltspoonful of pepper, and a piece of butter the size of a small egg, cut it small; put the prepared tomates into the buttered dish, and bake half an hour in a quick oven; when done, turn it out. A teaspoon of sugar added to the preparation is considered an improvement."
---Mrs. Crowen's American Lady's Cookery Book, Mrs. T.J. Crowen [Dick & Fitzgerald:New York] 1847 (p. 194)

"Scolloped Oysters.
Take the oysters form the liquor, and place some at the bottom of the dish, then grate some bread over the, a little nutmeg, pepper, salt, and cloves. Add another layer of oysters, and the seasoning, a little butter, and a glass of wine. Cover the whole with grated bread, and bake half an hour, or perhaps a little more. There will be liquor enough without adding any water or oyster broth."
---Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book, Catharine E. Beecher, facsimile 1858 editon [Dover Publications:Mineola NY] 2001 (p. 65)

"Scallops, Scalloped.
Procure the scallops when alive and as fresh as possible. Open them, loosen them from the shell, trim away the beards and the black portion, leaving the yellow and white parts of the fish. Wash them in two or three waters, and drain them. Scour and rinse the deeper shells, dry them, and butter thickly. Mince the scallops, and mix with them a third of their bulk in grated bread-crumbs, a liberal allowance of pepper and salt, and a little chopped parsley. A large table-spoonful of chopped parsley will be sufficient for a dozen scallops. Sprinkle a few bread-crumbs over the inside of the shell, and shake off those that do not adhere. Put in the minced fish, cover the surface with breadcrumbs, and lay little pieces of butter here and there on the top. Put the shells in a well-heated oven or in a Dutch oven before a clear fire, and let them reamin until the contents are heated throughout and brown on the surface. Serve the scallops very hot in the shells on a neatly-folded napkin. A little vinegar should be sent to table with them, and four shells will be reuqired for every dozen scallops. The shells chould be carefully preserved, and may be used again and again for scalloped fish of any kind. Time to bake the scallops, half an hour. Probable cost, when plentiful, 1s. per dozen. Sufficient, one dozen for four persons."
"Scalloped Fish. The remains of any description of dressed fish and shell-fish may be served in this way: mackerel and herrings are the least suitable for the purpose. Take the skin and bone form the fish, and tear the flesh into flakes. Mix with it a third of its weight in finely-grated bread-crumbs, or in well-mashed potatoes, and season the mixture rather highly with salt, cayenne, and grated nutmeg. oisten slighly with the remains of sauce served with the fish, or, lacking this, with a little clarified butter. Butter some scallop shells, or some small shallow dishes, and line the inside with grated bread-crumbs. Put in the mixture, cover the surface with bread-crumbs, lay little pieces of butter here and there on the tip, and bake in a well-heated oven or in a Dutchoven before the fire until the surface is brighly browned; serve very hot. Time to bake, about twenty minutes."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875 (p. 841)

"Scalloped Potatoes.
Cut four good-sized boiled or steamed potatoes into dice. Put two tablesponfuls of butter in a frying-pan; and, when melted, add two tablespoons of flour, mix until smooth; then add one pint of milk, and stir continually until it boils; add a teaspoonful of salt, and three dashes of black pepper; take from the fire. Put a layer of this sauce in the bottom of a baking-dish, then a layer of potatoes, then another layer of sauce, and so on until all is used, having the last layer sauce; sprinkle the top lightly with bread crumbs, and put in the oven for fifteen minutes, to brown. Serve in the dish in which it was baked."
---Mrs. Rorer's Philadelphia Cook Book, Mrs. S. T. Rorer [Arnold and Company:Philadelphia] 1888 (p. 295) [1908]
"Scalloped Chicken.
Put into a shallow dish a layer of cold cooked chicken, then a layer of boiled rice or macaroni and a little tomato sauce and so on until the dish is full. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top, put the dish in the oven and bake until brown." (p. 302)
---The Cook Book by "Oscar" of the Waldorf, Oscar Tschirky [Saafield Publishing:Chicago] 1908

"Standard Recipe for Escalloped Vegetables.
4 cups vegetable, juice and pulp, 3 tabelspoons butter, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 2 cups bread crumbs coarsly ground, 1 tablespoon sugar. Put a layer of crumbs in bottom of a well-buttered baking dish, cover with vegetable pulp and a little juice and sprinkle with salt, pepper and sugar; then cover with crumbs and dot the pieces with butter; repeat, cover top with remaining crumbs and dot with butter. Bake in a moderate oven, 325 degrees, for 45 minutes. Serves 8."
---Mrs. Anna J. Peterson's Simplified Cooking, Anna J. Peterson [American School of Home Econonics:Chicago] 1926 (p. 41)

"Scalloped Oysters.
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, 1/2 cup coarse cracker crumbs, 5 tablespoons melted butter, 1 pint oysters, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, 1/16 teaspoon nutmeg, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, if desired, 1/4 cup oyster liquor, 1/4 cup milk. Combine bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, and butter; place half in greased casserole. Arrange oysters in layers, sprinkling each layer with seasonings. Pour over oyster liquor and milk; top with remaining crumbs. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees F.) 1 hour. For an unusual flavor, substitute canned mushroom soup for all liquid. Serves 4." (Chapter 10, p. 22)
"Scalloped Potatoes. 6 medium-size potatoes, 3 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons flour, 3 cups milk, 1 teaspoon slat, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 2 tablespoon chopped onion. Pare potatoes; slice thin. Make white sauce of butter, flour, and milk. Put half the potatoes in greased casserole; cover with half the sauce and seasonings. Add remaining potatoes and seasonings, then remaining sauce. Cover and bake in moderately hot oven (400 degrees F.) about 1 hour. Uncover and continue baking until top forms brown crust. Serves 6." (Chapter 14, p. 14) [NOTE: other scalloped vegetable recipes include corn, corn & tomatoes, eggplant, spinach & tomatoes.]
---My Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book, 5th edition, 1930, 1939 [Meredith Publishing Company:Des Moines IA]

"Sliced Dried Beef Scalloped with Potatoes
. Portion: 12 ounces (approx. 1 1/2 cups), 100 portions. Ingredients: Beef, dried, sliced, 1 pounds (2 gallons), Potatoes, A.P. (48), Onions, chopped (2 lbs, 1 1/2 quarts), Flour (12 ounces, 1 1/2 pints), Salt (6 ounces, 3/4 cup), Pepper (1/4 ounce, 3/4 tablespoon), Butter or other fat, melted (1 pounmd 8 ounces, 1 1/2 pints). Milk, liquid ( 2 1/2 gallons). Cut beef into small pieces. Peel potatoes. Slice in 1/16 to 1/8-inch slices. Arrange dried beef, potatoes and onions in alternate layers in baking pans. Mix together flour, salt and pepper. Sprinkle over beef mixture. Pour melted butter over beef. Pour milk over mixture. Bake in moderate oven (375 degrees F.) about 1 hour or until potatoes are soft."
---Cook Book of the United States Navy, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, NAVSANDA Publication No. 7 [US Government Printing Office:Washington DC] 1944 (p. 118)

"Scalloped Potatoes.
Makes 6 to 8 servings. 3 lb potatoes, 4 medium onions, thinly sliced, Boiling water, 3 teaspoons salt, 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, 2 tablespoons flour 1/8 teaspoon pepper, 1/8 teaspoon paprika, 2 1/4 cups milk, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley. 1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease 2-quart casserole. 2. Wash, pare, and thinly slice potatoes; measure 8 cups. 3. Cook potatoes and onions, covered, in small amount of boiling water, with 2 teaspoons salt, about 5 minutes, or until slightly tender. Drain. 4. Melt butter in saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir in flour, pepper, paprika, and remaining salt until smooth. Blend in milk. 5. Cook stirring, over medium heat, to boiling point, or until thickened and smooth. 6. In prepared casserole, layer one third of potatoes and onions. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley; top with one third of sauce. Repeat. Then add remaining potatoes and onions, and top with remaining sauce. 7. Bake, uncovered, 35 minutes, or unti top is browned and potatoes are tender when pierced with fork."
---McCall's Cook Book [Random House:New York] 1963 (p. 593)

Escabeche presents several challenges for food historians based on linguistic, culinary, and social factors. Variant spellings through time and place require researchers to examine method and meal placement to determine the exact recipe. Generally, Escabeche is fried fish that is treated with acids (vinegar, citrus) to achieve a stable preserving pickle. The recipe orginated in the hot Mediterranean region, where it was a practical solution for fish preservation.
Ceviche, a raw fish pickled in similar ingredients descends from the same linguistic root but the recipe may not.

What is escabeche?
"Escabeche, a preparation for fried fish which has been allowed to cool and is then soused with a hot marinade of vinegar and other ingredients. The dish may be served hot, but it is more commonly kept and served cold. Indeed, the technique may well have originated as a means of preserving fish. The term occurs not only in its Spanish form, as here, but also in French (escabeche), Italian (scapece), Algerian (scabetch), and so on; and it appears in 17th- and 18-century English cookery books as 'caveach', a word which could be either a noun or a verb. Barbara a good account of the probably etymology of the term (from the Persian/Arabic sikbaj, meaning 'vinegar stew', vulgarized into iskebey) andof the medieval ancestors of the dish. One of the earliest mentions in Europe is in the Catalan treatise Sent Sovi (14th century), where there are several recipes for scabeig, escabeyg, and esquabey. The simplest of these calls for a midly vinegary and spicy sauce, thickened with toasted bread, onion, etc.; but other require nuts and raisins and fall into the category of sweet and sour. Santich points out that they correspond closely to some medieval English dishes with names like egurdouce (aigre-douce, sweet-and-sour). Indeed escabeche can be found, in past centuries and now, lurking under other names in various countries and context. In Italy there are many regional variants of the name scapece, but perhaps the most famous of all Italian versions of the dish, the Venetian Pesc in saor, is under a quite different name. Escabeche has migrated, under the same name, to the Philippines...where...'it is always fish, fried first. When it is taken out of the pan, vinegar, onions, ginger and garlic...'what has happened in Europe is that the escabeche has lost its medieval sweet-and-sour aspect, shedding the sweet ingredients such as sugar, raisins, dates, and becoming more 'streamlined.'..The essay by Santich ends with a suggestion that the term ceviche may be derived from escabeche. Certainly, if it could be established that the two terms are directly and closely related, and not just coincidental lookalikes, this whole subject area should be greatly clarified."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition, Tom Jaine editor [Oxford University Press:oxford] 2006 (p. 282)
[NOTE: The Santich work referenced above is: "On Escabeche (and Ceviche)," Barbara Santich, Petits Propos Culinaires (PPC), volume 20 (p. 17-21). FT Library owns a copy. Happy to share upon request.]

"Contemporary escabeche consists of meat or fish fried in olive oil and them put into a marinade of vinegar or sour citrus juice for preservation and flavor. Ruperto de Nola [Libro de Cozina, 1529] mentions this form of escbeche but he also give a another variety, where the object to be preserved, in his case fish, was boiled and then cooled and covered with a sauce of bread soaked in vinegar, ground with nuts and raisins, spiced, and cooked. Ruperto de Nola comments that it eats beter cold, but is not bad hot."
---America's First Cuisines, Sophie D. Coe [University of Texas Press:Austin TX] 1994 (p. 243)

"Caveach--Name and dish come from the Arabs (iskebey, to pickle with vinegar, according to Cormomnas (by way of Spanish escabeche. OED [Oxford English Dictionary] assigns a West Indain origina to caveach (a corruption of escabeche), a name which did not become current until mid-eighteenth [century] in England. But recipes for the dish, the characterizing note of which is dusting with flour and frying in olive oil before pickling, had long been known in England. A highly detailed recipe, To Pickle mackrell, Flounders, Soles, or Sprats, appears in Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery (about 1650, or earlier) and is a perffectly classic escabeche; virtually no eighteenth-century cookbook is without similar recipes. In 1796, Mrs. [Hannah] Glass presents The Jews Way of preserving Salmon, and all Sorts of Fish, also a true escabeche; it is possible that Jews fleeing the Inquisition had brought the recipe from Spain to England. But the dish had long before penetrated France, showing up as espinbeche de rougets in Le Menagier de Paris (about 1393); name and dish persist in regional cookery to this day, demonstrating once agin the difficulties of pinning down details of diffusion of a dish. Caveach fell form favor in American cookbooks, disappearing altogether bu the tiem of Fannie Farmer (1896)...Of late, the dish has been rediscovered as secabeche, en item in 'gourmet' exotica, another ironic note."
---The Virginia Housewife, Mary Randolph, facsimile 1824 edition with historical notes and commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1984 (p. 253-264)

[1st century]
"To Keep Fried Fish (Ut Pices Fricti Diu Durent)

Immediately after they are fried pour hot vinegar oer them."
---Apicius: cookery and dining in Imperial Rome, translated by Joseph Dommers Vehling, facsimile 1936 edition [Dover Publications:New York] Book I, VIII (p. 49)

[14th century]
"XII Si vols fer Escabetx [If you want to make fish in vinegar sauce]

If you want to make fish in vinegar sauce out of fried fish, make fish broth, put in onions, oil, salt and parsley, and cook it in a pot. Take almond milk made with broth. Then take the fried fish--and boiled fish, if you have any--and mince it with toasted bread soaked in vinegar; and if you have pine nuts, grind soume. Set it to boil in a pot with good spices, verjuice and sweetening. After that take round onions that are four fingers thick and slice them thin, and fry them with oil that is scarcely boiling. Then, when the onion is fried, when it crunches a bit, put it in with the sauce when it boils, and some of the oil from frying, so it is not too noticeable; and flavor it with sweetening, verjuice, salt and spices. You can put in raisins ground with wine or vinegar, and put it on top of the hot fried fish. It should be cooled before it is served. I have seen that with the seasonings, they ground toasted almonds and hazelnuts and toasted bread soaked in vinegar, and that they mixed it with wine and vinegar."
---The Book of Sent Sovi: Medieval recipes from Catalonia, edited by Joan Santanach, translated by Robin Vogelzang [Barcino Tamesis:Barcelona] 2008 (p. 69)
[NOTES: (1) Original Catalan text is on p. 68 of this book. (2) Modernized version appears in The Original Mediterranean Cuisine: Medieval recipes for today, Barbara Santich [Chicago Review Press:Chicago IL] 1995 (p. 102)]

"To pickle Mackrel, call'd Caveach.

Cut your Mackrel into round Pieces, and divide one into five or six Pieces: To six large Mackrel, you may take one Pound of beaten Pepper, three large Nutmegs, a little Mace, and a handful of Salt; mix your Salt and beaten Spice together, and make two or three Holes in each Piece, and thrust the Seasoning into the holes with your Finger. Rub the Piece all over with the Seasoning, fry them brown in Oil, and let them stand till the are cold; the put them into Vinegar, and cover them with Oil. They will keep well covered a great while, and are delicious."
---The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile 1747 edition [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 130-131)

"The Jews way of preserving Salmon, and all Sorts of Fish.

Take either salmon, cod, or any large fish, cut off the head, wash it clean and cut it in slices as cirmped cod is, dry it very well in a cloth; then flour it, and dip it in yolks of eggs, and fry it in a great deal of oil, till it is of a fine brown, and well done; take it out, and lay it to drain, till it is very dry and cold. Whitings, mackarel, and flat fish, are done whole. When they are quite dry and colk lay them in your pan or vessel, throw in between them a good deal of mace, cloves, and sliced nutmeg a few bay-leaves: have your pickle ready made of the berst white-wine vinegar, in which you must boil a great many cloves of garlick and shalot, black and white pepper, Jamaica and long pepper, juniper-berries and salt; when the garlick begins to be tender, the pickle is enough; when it is quite cold, pour it on your fish, and a little oli on the top. They will keep good a twelve-month, and are to be eat cold with oil and vinegar they will go good to the East Indies. All sorts fo fish fried well in the oil, eat very fine cold with shalot, or oil and vinegar. Observe in the pickling of your fish to have the pickling ready; first put a little picke in, then a layer of fish, then pickle, then a little fish, and so lay them down very close, to be very well covered, put a little saffron in the pickle. Frying fish in common oil is not so expensive with care; for present use in a little does, and if the cook is careful not to burn the oil, or black it, it will fry them two or three times."
---The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse, a new eiditon with modern improvements, facsimile 1805 edition, with an introduction by Karen Hess [Applewood Books:Bedford MA] 1997 (p. 286-287)

"To Caveach Fish.

Cut the fish in pieces the thickness of our hand, wash it and dry it in a cloth, sprinkle on some pepper and salt, dredgeit with flour, and fry it a nice brown; when it gets cold, put it in a pot with a little chopped onion between the layers, take as much vinegar as will cover it, mix it with some oil, pounded mace, and whole black pepper, pour it on and stop the pot closely. This is a very convenient article, as it makes an excellent and ready addition to a dinner or supper. When served up, it should be garnished with green fennel or parsley."
---The Virginia Housewife, Mary Randolph, facsimile 1824 edition with historical notes and commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1984 (p. 103-104)

"Atun en Escabeche (Pickled Tuna Fish)

5 pounds tuna fish, sliced
2 cups oil
3 large onions, cut in rings
5 cloves garlic
1 pint vinegar
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole black pepper
Salt to taste
Salt slices of fish and fry until brown in the oil. Place in a crickery jar or earthenware casserole in layers. When all the fish has been fried, fry onion and garlic insame oil about 5 minutes. Add vinegar, bayl leaves and whole peller, heating to boiling and pour at once over fish. If fish is not well covered add more vinegar. This fish should not be eaten until at least 24 hours after it is made, for the flavor improves as time goes on. It will keep indefinitely and is grand for the winter shelf. When tuna fish is raw, it is rather mushy, but this does not indicate that the fish is spoiled. You will find that it becomes firm as you fry it."
---Elena's Famous Mexican and Spanish Recipes, Elena Zelayeta [Dettners Printing House:San Francisco] 1944 (p. 28)

"Escabeche of various fishes (Spanish and Provencal cooking)
...Smelts, mackerels, whitings, red mullets, etc., are washed, cleaned and dried in a cloth. Then they are dipped in flour and fried in olive oil untl both sides are lightly coloured. They are arranged in a deep dish and a boiling court-bouillon is poured over them. This is prepared as follows:
The oil in which the fishes were fried is heated until it begins to smoke, and the following ingredients are added: 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 decilitres) of oil, 5 cloves of unpeeled garlic, an onion and a carrot, both medium-sized and cut into thin rounds. All these ingredients are fried together for a few minutes before the following are added to complete the marinade: 3/4 cup (1 1/2 decilitres) of vinegar, 1/4 cup (1/2 decilitre) of water, a sprig of thyme, half a bay leaf, some parsley, three pimentos, salt and pepper. This marinade is cooked for 10 to 12 minutes before it is poured over the fish, which is left to soak in it for 24 hours. The fish should be sered cold with the marinade."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne, edited by Charlotte Turgeon and Nina Froud [Crown Publishing:New York] 1961 (p. 503-504)

"Escabeche (Fish, Philippine-Style)

1 2-lb dressed red snapper, blue fish or bass (head removed)
> Salt
All-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter or salad oil
1 large onion, peeled, sliced
1 large green or red pepper, seeded, sliced
2 cloveas garlic, peeled, minced
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablesp. vinegar
1 tablesp. sugar
2 tablesp. soy sauce
1/4 to 1/2 teasp. powdered ginger
About 25 min. before serving:
1. Sprinkle fish with 1teasp. salt, then flour it lightly. In large skillet heat butter or oil; in it brownfish well on all sides; then remove. (If fish does not fit into skillet, cut in half crosswise.)
2. To drippings in skillet add onion, green or red pepper, and garlic; saute until golden. Next stir in 1 tablesp.flour, water, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, giner, and 1/2 teasp. salt.
3. Bring to a boil, return fish to skillet, then cook, covered, 8 to 10 min., or until fish flakes easily with a fork, but is still moist. Makes 4 servings."
---The Good Housekeeping International Cookbook: Official World's Fair Edition [Harcourt, Brace & World:New York] 164 (p. 182)

"Sierra en Escabeche [Soused sierra]

6 first-course servings
...Either hot or cold, this makes a very refreshing first course, served with tortilas. It is another way of pickling fish...and it will keep for a long time...
A shallow ovenproof dish
1 cup water
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon salt A molcajete or mortar and pestle
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 whole cloves
1/2-inch stick cinnamon
2 whole allspices
2 cloves garlic, peeled
A saucepan
1/2 cup wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon oregano, toasted...
2 small bay leaves
10 small clove garlic, toasted...and peeled
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup wine vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
A frying pan
The fish slices
1/2 cup peanut or safflower oil
The serving dish
6 chilies gueros, toasted...
2 large purple onions, thinly sliced and blanched as for Cebollas Encurtidas...
Pout the water, lime juice, and salt over the fish and set it aside for 1 hour, turning it once during that time. Pulverize the spcies. Crush the garlic and grind it to a paste with the spices. Put the spice-garlic paste into the saucepan with the rest of the ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the oil, the vinegar, and water and once agin bring the mixture to a boil. Dry the fish slices thoroughly. Heat the oil and fry them, about 3 minutes for striped bass or 5 minues for the sierra, on each side. They should be barely cooked. Placed them in the serving dish and pour the hot souce over them. Set the fish aside to season for at least 2 hours in the souse. Serve hot or cold, garnished with the chilies and onions."
---The Cuisines of Mexico, Diana Kennedy [Harper & Row Publishers:New York] 1972 (p. 232-234)

Ceviche differs from
escabeche in that the fish is raw, not fried. The acids (vinegar & lime juice) pickle the raw fish for eating. Ceviche is generally served chilled as an appetizer, although it can also appear as a salad course.

What is ceviche?
"Ceviche (the spelling prefrred to seviche, which is, however, often used), a specialty of Central and South America, particuarly in Spanish speaking countries...raw fish (usually fillets) marinated in lime or lemon juice with olive oil and spcies and often served as an appetizer. The name is siad to come from the Latin cibus (food) via Spanish cebo (fodder, food, bait) and cebiche (fish stew) something different but comparable...When fish is cooked by heat, the main effect in terms of food chemistry is that its protein is 'denatured'. The citric acid in lemons or limes has a similar effect, although this is not called 'cooking'. At the time of writing, ceviche is experienceing a wave of popularity in North American restaurants with many variations being worked on the original. The Japanese-Peruvian community has also developled a dish called tiradito (from the Spanish tirar, to throw)...The same technique is used in some places in the Mediterranean region..."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition, Tom Jaine editor [Oxford University Press:oxford] 2006 (p. 156-157)

"The boundaries of the Mediterranean are flexibe and fluid, depending upon what one wants to illustrate. Take, for example, seviche, today a well-known appetizer in Amercia of lime or lemon-juice marinated raw fish. I once read that it was introduced to the United States from Peru by restauranteurs. But seviche is nothing but a Mediterranean method of preserving raw fish. The Latin American Spanish word seviche comes from the Iberian Spanish escabeche, also called schebbeci in Sicily, a word that means 'marinted fish.'"
---A Mediterranean Fieast, Clifford A. Wright [William Morrow:New York] 1999 (p. 392]
[NOTE: Recipe for Pesce Spada 'Schibbeci' (Sicily), Swordfish Seviche, is included in the book.]

"The Hawaiians have their lomi lomi, the Tahitians their poisson cru, and the Mexicans have their ceviche, which is also fish 'cooked' in fresh lime juice. The seasoning may vary but the principle is the same, and all are delicious to the initiated...The Mexicans use Spanish mackerel or corbina for their ceviche..."
---Trader Vic's Book of Mexican Cooking, Victor Bergeron [Doubleday & Co.:Garden City NY] 1973 (p. 110) [NOTE: Recipe for Senor Pico Cerviche is on p. 111)

"Cebiche [Raw fish marinated in lime juice]

6 servings
"One of the leading gastronomise of Mexico, Don Amando Farga, says that the word cebiche comes from the verb cebar, using its meaning 'to saturate.' It can probably be traced to the Oriental influence that crept into the western part of Mexico when the Spaniards opened up trade routes between the Philippines and the Pacific ports of the New World. The recipe varies considerably throughout the Latin American Countires, and this one comes from the state of Guerrero.
A china or glass bowl
1 pound skinned fillets of mackerel or sierra
Juice of 6 or 7 large limes (1 1/4-1 1/2 cups)
2 medium tomatoes (about 12 ounces)
3 or 4 canned chiles serranos en escabeche
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper
1 small avocado, sliced
1 small onion, sliced into rings
A little finely chopped coriander (optional)
Cut the fish into small cubes, about 1/2 inch, and cover them with the lime juice. Set the fish aside in the bottom of the refrigerator for at least five hours, or until the fish loses its transparent look and becomes opaque. Stir the pieces from time to time so that they get evenly 'cooked' in the juice. Skin, seed, and chop the tomatoes... chop the chilies with their seeds, and add them with the rest of the ingredients to the fish. Set the cebiche aside in the bottom of the refrigerator at least 1 hour to season. (You can serve it chilled, but not so cold that the oil congeals). Befor serving, garnish each portion with slices of avocado and onion rings and sprinkle with a little chopped coriander, if desired. Shrimps, scallopes, crabmeat, and other seafood as well coudl be used instead of mackerel."
---The Cuisines of Mexico, Diana Kennedy [Harper & Row Publishers:New York] 1972 (p. 231-232)

What's the difference between
squid, calamari and octopus? Native location, size & number of legs. They are all members of the mollusk family and have ink sacs. Recipes vary according to culture and cuisine. How did ancient Greeks & Romans prepare squid?

"Squid occur in all oceans and seas, except the Black Sea...Todarodes sagittatus is a species of the eastern N. Atlantic and the Mediterranean. It is this to which the French name calmar correctly applies."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 750)

"Despite a relatively small market in the U.S., squids are utilized throughout the world as food. A highly specialized mollusk, the squid has 10 arms and a long cigar-shaped body with fins at the end...A sac contains ink wich may be emptied at the time of sudden propulsion, with the result that a dark cloud of ink appears...The squid is a remarkable food in that 80 percent of this cephalopod is edible... Squid dan be panfried, deep-fried, stir-fried, baked, boiled, and used in salads or pasta sauces. Classically, the very small squids are cooked whole, often stuffed, while the body of larger squids is cut into rings and pieces...Sun-dreid squid, which is popyular in the Orient, is made tough by the drying method..Squid in its ink (Calamare en su Tinta) is a very popular dish in Spain, and among the Basque people (where the name for squid becomes txipirones) it is a national dish."
---Encyclopedia of Fish Cookery, A. J. McClaine [Holt, Rinehart and Winston"New York] 1977 (p. 377, 379)

"Calamary (Loligo vulgaris), the English name for a squid found in the Mediterranean and in Spanish waters, and highly thought of as food. It has different names in different parts of Spain: chocos in Galicia, jibiones in Santander, chiripua in San Sebastian, and calamares in Castile; likewise calamari in Italy. In England it is also called sleevefish and inkfish or penfish because of the black liquid that it squirts out at enemies, and which is used in the sauce with herbs and garlic. Cuttlefish is related and is served in the same way. The ink is used in painting, as sepia. The calamary is known as tantonnet in Provence, where it is fried in oil with garlic. Other French names are calmar, encornet, and seiche."
---The Food of the Western World: An Encyclopedia of Food from North America and Europe, Theodora Fitzgibbon [New York Times Book Company:New York] 1976 (p. 73)

"Octopus, a genus of edible marine cephalopod mollusc with eight suckered arms. it is found in the more temperate coastal waters of the Atlantic, and in the Mediterranean, where it is eaten a great deal. It is related to the squid and the cuttlefish. After being beaten for some time, the tentacles or arms are cut in pieces, coated with flour and egg, and fried in hot oil. In Marseilles the pouch is washed and sutffed with a mixture of onions, the finely chopped tentacles, garlic, parsley, and egg yolks; then it is simmered until tender in a mixture of half oilive oil and half white wine. In Brittany it is known as minard and pieuvre."
---The Food of the Western World: An Encyclopedia of Food from North America and Europe, Theodora Fitzgibbon [New York Times Book Company:New York] 1976(p. 299)

"Octopus is actually a mollusk in the class Cephalopoda. Like the squid, an octopus can discharge clouds of ink...Japan is the world's largest consumer...In Spain and Portugal the octopus is cut into chunks and a wine sauce, then served over saffron rice. It's also prepared int he style of seviche, know in thi case as pulpo vinagrete, with bite-size pieces marinated in lime juice, vinegar and spaices, to which chopped onions and peppers are added. Most Mexican recipes require that the octopus be cooked in its own ink...Also called Poulpe (France), Pulpo (Spain), Polvo (Portugal), Polpo di scoglio (Italy), Octapodi (Greece), Ma-dako (Japan), Ahtapot (Turkey)."
---Encyclopedia of Fish Cookery, A. J. McClaine [Holt, Rinehart and Winston:New York] 1977 (p. 207-208)

How was squid cooked in the early days?

[Ancient Greece]
marine cephalopod, good to eat whatever its size. Little ones could be fried, and could be part of a mixed fry-up or hepsetos, as Dorion says. Philoxenus writes with enthusiasm of a dish of epipastai teuthides, squid with something--perhaps breadcrumbs--sprinkled over. A character in a play by Sotades talks of teuthis onthyleumene, a stuffed squid, and a cook in Alexis explains in more detail As for the squids, I put up their fins, mix in a little fat, sprinkled a few fresh herbs and stuffed them.' They were to be found a Dium, the Macedonian ceremonial centre, and also at ambracia in northwestern Greece, according to Archestratus; but indeed they are widespread in the Mediterranean. The general Greek term for squid is teuthis; the Latin equivalent is loligo, lolligo."
---Food in the Ancient World From A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 310-311)

"The satisfying small-fry and squid that are so simply cooked in olive oil are a ubiquitous preparation in Greece and most of the coastal Mediterranean. Fry, meaning "young fish," derives from the Old Norse, while fry, "to cook," derives from the Sanskrit through the Greek and Latin. Interestingly, Greek food writers, while claiming all kinds of false provenance for other foods, neglect to mention that kalamarakia tiganita and marides tiganita do indeed have a classical history. The first mention I am familiar with for fried squid is found in Aristophenes' (455-388BC) lay The Acharnians, where there is the tortuous image of a dish of sizzling squid being pulled away from the hungry Choregus. We also know from Atheneus that fried squid, although not as common as boiled squid, was eaten."
---A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford A. Wright [William Morrow:New York] 1999 (p. 453)

[Ancient Rome]
"Calamary in the Pan
...Crush pepper, rue, a little honey, broth, reduced wine, and oil to taste. When commencing to boil, bind with roux.

"Stuffed Calamary...Pepper, lovage, coriander, celery seed, yolks, honey, vinegar, broth, wine, oil and bind."
---Apicius: Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome, rendered into Englis by Joseph Dommers Vehling, facsimile 1926 edition, with 1936 notes [Dover Publications:New York] 1977 (p. 211)

[15th century Rome]
Those who call them calamari would better and more properly call them atramentarii, since they have a head in the shape of an inkwell and pour out ink [atramentum] like cuttle-fish. Large ones are cut up in pieces and boiled with finely chopped parsley and spices; small ones are eaten fried in orange juice."
---Platina: On Rigth Pleasure and Good Health, a critical edition and translation of De Honesta Voluptate et Valeltudine by Mary Ella Milham, Book X no. 65 [Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies:Tempe AZ] 1998 (p. 461)

[15th century Naples]
"188. Octopus.

If it is alive, beat it forecefully on a stone with a club; then get a little hot water, blanch the octopus well, cut it into bite-sized pieces a finger's length long, and put them into a pot with some oil on top of the coals away from the fire; do not put in water, rather cook them very slowly in oil; then get a little fried onion and fragrant herbs and spcies, verjice and a little water, mix everything together and boil it a short while; then serve it." (p. 205)

"197. Spanish Squid Sauce.
Get squid and clean them well so that nothing bad is left; take and parboil the legs and head of the squid, and grind or chop them; get walnuts, grind them up with good spices and stuff the squid with the walnuts, spices, the heads and legs of the squid; bind them up and send them off to the oven in a baking dish; when they are almost cooked, to make another sauce for them get a lot of toast soaked in bitter wine or water and dgrind it with pinenuts and a lot of spices; when you have ground it well, distemper it with water; when the squid are done, take them out of the pot or earthenware dish, put the sauce in the dish and boil it, then put the suqid in with that too; when everything has boiled a while, set out the squid in small plates and the sauce in bowls."

"198. Squid.
When they are smaller they are better for frying, [serving them] with spices and orange juice on top. The big ones should be well cleansed and stuffed with the stuffing for Reversed Tench; otherwise, if they are quite big, cook them in a mortar with oil, first cup up into small pieces like tripe; place them away from the fire, stirring often; when they are almost cooked, add into the mortar all sorts of spices along with a little sugar and verjuice, and let it come to a boil again; then take it out."
---Cuoco Napoletano: The Neapolitan Recipe Collection, a critical edition and English translation by Terence Scully [University of Michigan Press:Ann Arbor MI] 2000 (p. 206)

[16th century Rome]
The smaller they are, the better they will taste. Wash well and prepare a filling, as is described for stuffed tench, even a better one if you know how; fry in good oil, topping with some orange juice and some good spices. You can boil large squid by cutting them into pieces in the same way as veal or ox tripe, with a little broth; make sure that it is cooked through, and you can add finely chopped parsley with some spices. Likewise, large squid can be prepared in this other manner, by washinging it first with a little white wine and verjuice and some sodden wine, thus squeezing out the squid's ink with these things, which is used to make its sauce, take an ounce of toasted almonds that have been toasted in hot ashes, crush a bit of toasted bread--or omit, if you prefer--and crush these things together. Thin all these things with the squid's wash, pass through a stamine, and simmer for a little while, adding some cinnamon, ginger, and a few cloves; fry the squid in good oil and top with this sauce."
---The Art of Cooking: The First Modern Cookery Book, composed by the eminent Maestro Martino of Como, edited and with an introduction by Luigi Ballerini, translated and annotated by Jeremy Parzen [University of California Press:Berkeley CA] 2005 (p. 108-109)

Friday Franks

Tuna hot dogs? Certainly! Aka Tunies, Sea Dogs, Tuna Franks, Ham of the Sea. This 20th century novelty meat hasn't quite caught on, but not for lack of trying. Target market appears to be thrifty households and observant Catholics. The earliest mention we find in an American source is this brief note published in the New York Times circa 1949:

"The American hot dog is going to sea. A Gloucester firm said today a fish-filled version of the hot dog will soon be on the market. Tuna fish will be the basic ingredient. The company lists these proposed names: "Sea dogs," "fish dogs," "Friday Franks" and "tuna maid frankfurters.""
---"Fish-Filled 'Hot Dog' To Be Put on Market, New York Times, September 27, 1949 (p. 34)

"'Friday Franks', a tuna fish hot dog claimed by its sponsors to look and taste like the conventional beef and pork frankfurter-- will hit the retail food market today. "Friday Franks" are composed of 100% tuna meat with a small amount of vegetable oil and spices for flavoring. No filler is added. The franks can be eaten either hot or cold. The tuna now being used is caught in New England waters. First National Stores has obtained exclusive distribution rights for the first two weeks in its more than 1,000 outlets in New England and eastern New York. A 12-ounce can of "Friday Franks" trade name for the product contains about nine tuna frankfuters and retal for 59 cents. Davis Bros. Fisheries Co. Inc of this city [Gloucester Mass] is currently producing and canning around 500,000 sea dogs a day. John F. O'Hara, president of Davis Bros. said that with consumption of regular hot dogs running between two million and five million pounds daily but tropping to 500,000 pounds on Friday, the need for a meatless variety was apparent, he asserted. The idea for a sea dog originated with two Bostonians, Robert A. Poling, a spice expert and Pasquale Fraticelli, and attorney. Davis Bros., acquired the rights to the product and further developed the process of spicing and smoking the tuna meat."
---"Tuna Fish Hot Dog--"Friday Franks"--Hits Retail Market Today, Wall Street Journal, December 2, 1949 (p. 10)

Maybe these were a *hit* in Gloucester. But in Greater New York? Ten years later we see them again being rolled out as *new*:

"Tuna Fish Frankfurters. Meatless frankfurters, shaped like the familiar hot dog but stuffed with tuna fish, are being introduced this week in Food Fair stores here. These are a frozen product; there are about ten in a one-pound package costing 79 cents."
---"Food: New Products," June Owen, New York Times, June 8, 1959 (p. 24)

"New Tuna treat: Tunies. Tuna with the new exciting Taste. Tuna in the new convenient form. Hickory-smoked for an exciting new taste, Tunies have all the nutritive values of seafood in tempting snacks, salads and main dishes that are quck and easy to prepare. Best of all- Tunies are inexpensive, and there is no waste. Tunies are made only from select fillets of tuna...they contaion no meat or meat derivatives, no cereal or other filler. And Tunies are skinless. High in protein, low in calories, Tunies are the most outstanding food buy in years. Chop them for casseroles. Mince or grind them for sandwiches. Slice them for salads. Bargecue them- Fry them. Boil them. Serves 4 to 6 people...Tunies are Packd by the Processors of Famous Brest-O-Chicken Tuna, Quality Packers for Over a Half-Century."
---Display ad, Los Angeles Times, December 4, 1958 (p. 25)

"A new idea from the seafood industry is Tunies--hickory smoked skinless frankfurters made of tuna fish. They lend themselves beautifully to hot dog buns and mustard, as well as to casserole dishes, omelets and vegetables. Made from lins of tuna, the product contains no meat, cereal, or other filler. The Tunies are high in protein and low in calories. The are packed in colorful cans on the west coast by manufacturers of Breast O'Chicken products."
---"'Round the Food Stores: For a look at the latest ideas," Lois Baker, Chicago Daily Tribune, March 20, 1959 (p. A7)

"NANCY G., PALATINE, IL: Hi Bob! I remember "Tunies," the tuna fish hot dogs that came in a can. We had so many of them - YUKK!! Can you give me any info on who made them, if they still exist, and where? I think my grandmother made them all millionaires. We had so many cans that they swelled up with bloat before we were forced to eat them. Being a Catholic family you couldn't eat meat on Friday years ago and they were our supper almost every Friday night. There were five children in our house and four adults. They must have been dirt cheap because as I said my grandmother and father bought tons of them. All of us "kids" hated them. We grew up in Chicago, IL. We always make jokes about them and were trying to prove to our kids that they really existed like with a label or picture of one. BOB: yeah that was some ugly and nasty food! Tunies are long gone. I think they were only in business for a short while in the late 50's because everybody felt about them like you and I do. No info on who made them...they're probably still in hiding! I'm getting grossed out just thinking of them. By the way, I wonder what ever happened to all the people who went to hell for eating meat on Fridays!Those who ate Tunies instead of meat on Fridays should be sitting at the highest level in Heaven!!"

Print references to tuna franks exist through the 1960s, then stray from the radar. Tuna franks resurface (again, as *new*) in the late 1980s. "Bounty of the Sea" and "Ham of the Sea" were catchy names but not enough to hook the American palate. Notes here:

"Houstonian Jerry Grisaffi has hooked a publicly traded shell company that he plans to use to flip his local tuna hot dog company onto the Over-The-Counter exchange. Grisaffi's privately held Bounty of the Sea expects to complete the acquisition of publicly traded Falcon Investment Co. before the end of this month. Falcon is a Delaware corporation without ongoing operations, whose stock trades in the pink sheets. Bounty of the Sea will be the surviving name of the combined companies, and Grisaffi hopes to list his stock under the symbol BOTS or, possibly, TUNA. As soon as the acquisition is completed, Bounty of the Sea will conduct a public offering of 2 million new shares through which Grisaffi hopes to raise $ 3.5 million...Bounty of the Sea was formed in late 1987 to manufacture and sell a line of hot dogs and assorted cold cuts made from tuna fish. Grisaffi got the idea for the product on a Caribbean fishing trip when a local cook served him fish that had been spiced and reshaped to look like ham. Nutritionally, tuna franks contain twice the protein, half the calories and 70 percent less fat than hot dogs made from beef or pork. The company also sells a tuna luncheon loaf and a tuna bologna and plans to debut a line of tuna breakfast sausage in June. Grisaffi plans to market his tuna meats to the public through retail grocers and to the institutional health market through major food brokers. His tuna franks have been available in selected Houston grocery stores since the end of 1988, but the company's products were only picked up last month by two major suppliers to the institutional food trade."
---"Entrepreneur Taking Local Tuna Dog Company Public," Laurel Brubaker Calkins, Houston Business Journal, April 10, 1989, Vol 18; No 44; Sec 1; pg 15

"Tuna hot dogs just didn't float. Bounty of the Sea, a publicly traded company based in Sugar Land, claimed it had the potential of luring health-conscious consumers into spending $ 25 million a year on hot dogs and lunch meats made from -- of all things -- tuna fish. Jerry Grisaffi, a former manager of a Houston car dealership, says he trolled venture capital sources for $ 1.2 million in start-up money. Supermarkets in Texas started selling the smelly food stuff in late 1988. And an over-the-counter offering later surfaced on the pink sheets pricing the company at $ 1.75 a share. But neither the company nor its products caught on. Consumers turned their noses up at tuna wieners. And, by and large, investors didn't bite at Bounty's stock. Now the company's odd selection of tuna dogs and tuna bologna is gone from the supermarket shelves. Although the company's president says he wants to avoid bankruptcy, correspondence filed with court documents indicate the tuna business has considered filing for Chapter 7 liquidation. And shareholders are squabbling in court."
--- "Tuna Dogs Sink in Sea of Troubles," Doug Miller, Houston Business Journal, March 19, 1990, Vol 19; No 42; Sec 1; pg 1

"For years, canned tuna, frozen fish sticks and pickled herring constituted the bulk of processed seafood products available to consumers. Today, more imaginative offerings are being introduced by both domestic and international firms eager to capitalize on the public's heightened interest in fish. Many such new and unusual items debuted at Sea Fare '88, a recently concluded trade show at the Long Beach Convention Center. The latest entries ranged from exotic tropical fish species to the next generation of surimi, the highly processed seafood analog used primarily for imitation crab. Certainly, the most ingenious new brand name to surface was Ham of the Sea. At present, the line consists of tuna frankfurters and a ham-like luncheon meat made entirely from fish. The frankfurters are a blend of the yellow fin and skipjack tuna varieties while the deli-style meat is made from mahi-mahi. The products, manufactured in Costa Rica, are both low in calories, sodium and fat. Jerry Grisaffi, Ham of the Sea president, said he just came up with the catchy title without so much as mentioning that somewhat similar-sounding brand of canned tuna. Response to Ham of the Sea, he said, was extremely positive. And to prove the point, Grisaffi claims the U.S. Navy has agreed to become one of his first customers. The rest of the country can expect to see Ham of the Sea by April."
---"New Seafood Ideas are Catching on; Consumers Get Hooked on Tuna Franks, Ham of the Sea," Daniel P. Puzo, Los Angeles Times, March 3, 1988, Food; Part 8; Page 2; Column 2

Related food? Chickenfurters!


Prehistoric sustenance
"Compared with other vertebrates, reptiles and amphibians are relatively uncommon at archaeological sites. Frogs and small lizard of various kinds provide useful food for some human groups today, and are not so difficult to catch. Indeed, the general lack of archaeological evidence probably results to some extent from the fragile nature of the bones of such animals, and perhaps from softer bone being often eaten with the flesh."
---Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples, Don Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell, expanded edition [Johns Hopkins University Press:Baltimore] 1998 (p. 56)

Ancient Greek & Roman cuisine

"Frogs and snails were...a popular specialty, snails among the Romans and frogs largely in Gaul."
---A Taste of Ancient Rome, Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa, forward by Mary Taylor Simeti [University of Chicago Press:Chicago] 1992 (p. 12)

The Ancient Greeks and Romans wrote about frogs in their culinary texts: "Batpaxos is a comprehensive word for a variety of tailless amphibians, including aquatic frogs (as here), tree frogs, and even toads. Frogs do not drink in the proper sense, but absorb water into their bodies through their permeable skin and cloacal vents."
---Archestatatos of Gela, S. Douglas Olson and Alexander Sens [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2000 (p. 231)

Medieval European cookery
"In France in the 1390s, and elderly householder, known through his modern editor was the Menagier of Paris', wealthy but not well-born, wrote a book of household management for his fifteen-year-old wife. Unusally, he included for her use a large collection of recipes for all kinds of foods...There are even recipes for cooking frogs and snails."
---Food and Eating In Medieval Europe, Martha Carlin and Joel T. Rosenthal editors [Hambledon Press:London] 1998 (p. 33)

[15th century Rome]
"Book IX 41. On Frogs

Frogs, in now way to be numbered among the fish, rightly belong in this place with respect to their cooking. I reject toads and those creatures living under the earth as harmful. These animals about which I am speaking are aquatic. They are considered better to eat when they are caught by a throw of the net than by a trident, for those touched and wounded by the bite of a serpent are not thought to touch a net. We let the legs of those which are captured be stripped of skin and soaked a night or a day in fresh water. Then when they have been rolled in meal, we fry them in oil. When they are fried and put in a dish, my friend Palellus covers thm with green sauce and sprinkles them with fennel flouwers and spices."
---Platina: A Right Pleasure and Good Health, a critical edition and translation of De Honesta Voluptate et Valetudine, Mary Ella Milham [Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies:Tempe AZ] 1998 (p. 415)

19th century English observations

"The consumption of frogs is not, as is very often supposed, confined to the French. It is also indulged in, to a considerable extenty, by Americans; frogs appear to command a high prices in the New York market. An enthusiastic writer tries to convince us, that the only objection to frogs as an article of diet is the mere prejudice on the part of those who have never eaten them. 'In what respect are they worse than eels?'...The Athenoeum...recently came out in favour of frogs. 'There is no reason,' it remarks, 'why we should eschew frogs and relish turtle.'...The green or edible a native or Europe, some parts of Asia, and also of Northern Africa. It is in high request on the Continent for its flsh, the meat of the hind quarters, which is alone used, being delicate and well tasted. In Vienna, where the consumption of these frogs is very considerable, they are preserved alive, and fattened in froggeries...constructed for the express purpose. In America, the flesh of the huge tender, white, and affords excellent eating. Some bull-frogs weigh as much as half-a-pound, but the hind legs are the only parts used as food. They make excellent bait for the larger cat-fish. In the Antilles, another huge bull-frog is reared in ta state of domestication for the table."
---The Curiosities of Food, Peter Lund Simmonds, facsimile 1859 edition with an introduction by Alan Davidson [Ten Speed Press:Berkeley CA] 2001 (p. 203-204)

"Frogs are at their best in the spring, and therefore it is only in Lent that they are to be seen at Parisian tables. The hind-legs alone are eaten. They are skinned, they are blanched, they are boiled, and they are served either with a poulette sauce or fried in butter. The French have a theary that frogs, having a mighty power of croaking, are good for the chest and soverign over a cough. Theri final cause in fact is the cure of the consumptive."
---Kettner's Book of the Table, E.S. Dallas, facsimile 1877 edition, prefaced by Derek Hudson [Centaur Press Ltd.:London] 1968 (p. 193)

Modern France
"Frogs legs were regarded as a tasty dish in the Middle Ages, particularly during Lent. In France two main species are found: the green or common frog, and the rusty or mute frog...The draining of marshlands has considerably reduced its [green frog] numbers, but it can still be found in the Dombes (hence its fame in Lyonnais gastornomy), in Auvergne, Cologne, Brittany and Alsace...Most of the frogs eaten in France are imported from central Europe and Yugoslavia. They tend to be larger and have more meat than local species...The delicate flavor of the meat is enhanced by seasoning, and frogs' legs are often prepared with herbs, garlic and chopped parsley. The are also made into blanquettes, soups, omelettes and mousselines, and can be fried or sauteed. The most highly regarded recipes come from Lyons, Alsace and Poitour. The Menangier de Paris contained recipes for cooking them in soups and in pies. Frogs' legs are also eaten in Germany and Italy, but they have usually filled the British with disgust. When Escoffier was chef of the Carlton Hotel in London, he managed to have them accepted at the table of the Prince of Wales by calling them cuisses de nymphes aurore (legs of the dawn nymphs)."
---Larousse Gastronomique, completely revised and updated edition [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 527-8)

"Fritters of Frogs

Choose the finest and the biggest, dress then cherrie like, that is to say, scrape the thighs of your frogs, so that the bone be clean at one end, whiten them a very little, and dry them. Make a paste with flowre, salt, milk, white cheese, of each a very little; stamp all in a mortar, and make it liquid, untill it be like a paste for fritters. Take your frogs by the bone end, and dip them in, and put them in very hot butter, fry them as fritters, and serve garnished with fried parsley." (p. 226)

"Torte of Frogs
Pass the great legs in the pan with good butter very fresh, mushrums, parsley, artichocks sod and cut, and capers, all well seasoned. Put it into a sheet of fine or puft paste, and bake it; after it is baked, serve uncovered with a white sauce." (p. 198)

"Pottage of frogs with saffron
Truss up your frogs, and boile them with broth, or with pease broth, and season them with parsley, an onion sticked with cloves and a twig of thime. Stove your bread, and garnish it with your frogs whitened, with saffron or yolks of eggs, then serve." (p. 132)
---The French Cook, Francoise Pierre La Varenne, Englished by I.D.G. 1653, introduced by Philip and Mary Hyman [Southover Press:East Sussex] 2001

Escoffier offers seven recipe for frogs legs in his classic Le Guide Culinaire, 1907. These are: "Grenouilles Sautees aux Fines Herbes, Grenouilles Frites (fried frogs' legs), Grenouilles au Gratin, Genouilles a la Meuniere, Mousselines de Grenouilles, Grenouilles a la Poulette and Nymphes a l'Aurore (referenced above, recipe below):

" 2174. Nymphes a l'Aurore.
Trim the frogs' legs wll, poach them in white wine sauce and trim and allow to cool in the cooking liquid. When cold, drain and dry them carefully with a clean cloth. Coat each with white Fish Chaud-froid Sauce which has been coloured by the addition of a little paprika. Set a layer of very clear Champagne-flavoured Fish Aspic Jelly in the bottom of a deep square silver dish or glass bowl; place the prepared frogs' legs on top and intersperse them with tarragon leaves and chervil Pluches so as to imitate water plants. Cover the legs completely with the same jelly and allow to set in a cool place. To serve: present the dish of frogs' legs set in a suitably sculpted block of clear ice."
---The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, Escoffier, The first translation into English by H.L. Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann of Le Guide Cuilinare in its entirety [John Wiley:New York] 1979 (p. 256)

"Frogs (Grenouilles)

The only edible part of frogs are the hindquarters, which is how you buy them, strung on wooden skewers. Freshness is of paramount importance, and can be judged by the appearance of the skin, which should be taut and shiny. As well as the classic recipe a la Poulette, you can prepare frogs in several ways. Whatever the recpe, you always cut off their webbed feet with scissors.

"Sauteed Frog's Legs (Grenouilles Sautees)
Time: 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then saute in butter in a pan over a strong heat to season and color them well. Arrange on a plate or a timbale and moisten with lemon juice, then finally, sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley. Or, dip in flour and saute in the pan, using a few tablespoons of good olive oil instead of butter. If you wish, add a little bit of garlic."
---, Madame E. Saint-Ange, translated and with an introduction by Paul Aratow [Ten Speed Press:Berkely CA] 2005 (p. 246-247)
[NOTES: (1) This book also offers recipes for Fried Frog's Legs, Frog's Legs in Fines Herbes and Frog's Legs in Rich Mushroom Sauce. (2) We have a copy of Mme. St. Ange's original French text. Happy to scan/send if you wish.]

American heritage & interpretation
"Frogs' legs. Any of various preparations using the legs of three United States species of frog, the "green frog" (Rana clamitans), the "American bullfrog" (R. Catebeiana), or the "northern leopard frog" (R. Pipiens). The majority of these are caught in Florida and Louisiana, where they are a delicacy, either deep-fried or made with a spicy sauce."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman] 1999 (p. 134)

"'Grenouilles Frites,' or Fried Frogs

Use only the hind=quarters of the frogs. After washing them in warm water, soak well; then put them into cold vinegar with a little salt, and let them remain one or two hours, after which throw them into scalding water, and remove the skin without tearing the flesh. Wipe them dry, dust flour on them and fry in butter or sweet oil, with plenty of chopped parsley. When brown, dust pepper with a little salt over them, and garnish with crisped parsley. Stewed frogs are seasoned with butter, wine, beaten eggs and parsley chopped fine."
---La Cuisine Creole, facsimile 2nd edition, 1885 [Famous Recipes Press:Louisville KY] 1966 (p. 32)

"Baked Frogs' Legs

Prepare and clean one dozen frogs' legs, put a thick layer of minced mushrooms and sifted brown breadcrumbs in a baking dish, lay the pieces of legs on them, season with salt and pepper, strew a few sweet herbs over, also more sifted crumbs, put to or theree amll bits of lemon peel on the top, squeeze over the juice of a lemon, and pour in aobut one breakfast cupful of brown gravy. Cover the whole with a sheet of buttered paper andbkae for half an hour in a moderate oven. When cooked, brown them under a salamander, and serve in the same dish."
---The Cook Book By 'Oscar' of the Waldorf, Oscar Tschirky [Saalfiedl Publishing:Chicago] 1908 (p. 98-99)
[NOTE: This book also offers recipes for Broiled Frogs' Legs, Fricasseed Frogs' Legs, Fried Frogs' Legs and Stewed Frogs' Legs.]

"Frogs' Legs

The hind legs of the common green frog are enjoyed in both Europe and in the United States as a delicate food much resembling chicken. There are two varieties on the market--the small marsh frog and the large bull frog. The latter is the more convenient for use and market purposes, but the smaller kind is more delicate in flesh. They are in season all year, but are considered best from June to October. Frog farming has become a recognized industry, the output of the ponds having, in the neighborhoods of large cites, as sure sale at fair prices. Among the devices for feeding them are boards smeared with honey or sugar, to attract insects withc the frogs greedily devour."
---The Grocer's Encyclopedia, Artemas Ward [National Grocer:New York] 1911 (p. 255-256)

"Frogs' Legs

Frogs' legs are becoming more and more plentify on the market, keeping up with the increasing demand. This country consumes more frogs' legs than any other. A few years ago, frogs' legs were prohibited in certain seasons by now we have them all the year round. They are raised in special places like terrapin, oysters, etc. Their meat is delicious and as white as the whitest part of chicken.

"Frogs' Legs Meuniere
Dip them in milk, roll in flour and saute in very hot oil or butter. Remove when they are golden brown and place them in a serving dish. Season with salt and pepper and a few drops of lemon juice. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Cook some butter until it becomes nut brown and pour over the frogs' legs. Serve with slices of lemon."
---Cooking a la Ritz, Louis Diat [J.B. Lippincott Company:Philadelphia] 1941(p. 148)
[NOTE: This book also offers recipes for Frogs' Legs a la Poulette and Frogs' Lehgs Provencale.]

"Frog Legs Provencale

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tablepsoon chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 chips whole tomates
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
8 frog legs
Melt butter in a 10-inch skillet. Saute green pepper, garlic, mushrooms, parsley, onions and shallots. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and simmer over very low heat 10 minutes. While sauce is cooking, make a batter of the egg and milk. Dip frog legs in this batter and drain. Dredge in flour and fry in butter until golden brown. Add to sauce and simmer five minuts more. Arrange legs on serving platter and cover with sauce. 2 servings."
---Brennan's New Orleans Cookbook, edited and illustrated by Dierdre Stanforth, new revised edition [Robert L. Crager & Company:New Orleans] 1964 (p. 102)

Food historians confirm sardines have been consumed for thousands of years. Members of the herring family, sardines take their name from the tiny island country of Sardinia, in the Mediterranean. Sardine cuisine is traditionally popular throughout this region.
Pilchards are sometimes called "Cornish Sardines."

"In commerce "sardine" is not the name of any one fish but rather a collective term for a number of small soft-boned species in the herring family...The cannning industry began on the island of Sardinia with a Mediterranean species Sardina pilchardus, thus the name had historical acceptance. However, there are some difference in texture and flavor between the various fishes and often extreme variations in the quality of the pack...Large fresh sardines may be split and cooked over charcoal while butter basting, then served with generous splashes of lemon juice. In the Sicilian style they are baked in white wine, Sarde al Bino Bianco, or baked with a stuffing made from bread crumbs, anchovies, pine nuts, white raisins, onions and parsley in making a Sarde a Beccafico."
---The Encyclopedia of Fish Cookery, A.J. McClane [Holt Rinehart:New York] 1977 (p. 276-7)

"Sardine. A small, delicately flavored, salt-water fish. It is found everywhere, but especially off the shores of Brittany, where the sardine fisheries are a source of wealth for the inhabitants. It is said that in the eighteenth century they already produced an immense revenue, and in the city of Port-Louis alone, four thousand barrels were put up each year. Sardines are abundant in the Mediterranean, especially around Sardinia, form whihc they derive their name. Only inhabitants of the coast can eat fresh sardines, and even so the sardines must be salted as they are taken from the water, for of all fish these keep the shortest time. Sardines are prepared by salting and smoking. Those from the North are the most highly esteemed because aromatic herbs and spices are added to their brine, giving them a very pleasant flavor. But these sardines do not keep very long. When they have spoiled, they are used as bait for mackerel and other sea fish. Pisanelli claims that sardines love the sound of musical instruments, and will stick their heads out of the water to listen. Drinkers especialy fond of saridens, which stimulate their thirst and, they say, help them distinguish the best wine."
---Dictionary of Cuisine, Alexandre Dumas, originally published 1873, edited, abridged and translated by Louis Colman [Simon & Schuster:New York] 1958 (p. 214-5)

"Fresh sardines and Royans which are a type of large sardine, lend themselves to numerous preparations. Monsieur Caillat's book 150 Manieres d'Accomoder les Sardines is devoted soley to these fish and is recommended to anyone wishing to utilize them for their menus."
---The Compelete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, Escoffier, 1907, the first translation into English by H.L. Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann of Le Guide Culinaire in its entirety [John Wiley:New York] 1979 (p. 215)

Sardines (& French Sardines, American Sardines) The Grocer's Encyclopedia/Artemas Ward

Pilchards (aka Cornish sardines & Gypsy herring) are native to Cornwall and Devon England. They figure prominently in the local fishing industry and cuisine.
Stargazey Pie, featuring local pilchards, is a Christmas dish from the old days.

"Pilchard (Sardina pilcsarsdus), a fish of the herring family. Its name in England of the 16th century was 'pylcher' or 'pilchar,' the origin of which is unknown. Sardine is simply another name for a young pilchard; the sardines that are tinned in France and Portugal are immature fish of the same stock as the pilchards taken off the coast of Cornwall. Pilchards are also called 'gypsy herring.' Because of their high fat content they travel very badly, which is why, like sardines, they are only to be bought fresh in the neighbourhood of the ports at which they are landed. The shoals appear without warning and only briefly, and often almost the whole catch is tinned. However, in Cornwall it is possible to buy them fresh after a catch, and then they are baked, grilled, or, particularly prepared as the famous Cornish dish star gazey pie. Pilchards used to be salted and smoked all over the West Country and were known there as Cornish 'fair maids,' a corruption of fumado, the Spanish word for smoked, which no doubt became current when Spanish fishing fleets used to assemble off the Cornish coast in the 18th century. It is possible that some of the curious sunken pits to be seen in Cornwall were used for the smoking of the these fish in early times. In the 18th century and earlier, oil was extracted from pilchards. The best season for pilchards is the latter half of the year. They are chiefly obtainable canned in a strong tomato sauce which entirely destroys their original flavour."
---Food of the Western World: An Encyclopedia of Food from North America and Europe, Theodora Fitzgibbon [Quadrangle New York Times Book Company:New York] 1976 (p. 340)

"Pilchards are rarely found on the British shores except on the coasts of Cornwall and Devon, particularly the former, where the are captured in great numbers from the middle of July to the end of November, or even the middle of December. Cornish fishermen say that the pilchard is the least fish in the sea for size, the most in number, and the greatest for gain taken from the sea. The principal seats of the pilchard fishery are St. Ives, Mount's Bay, and Mevagissey. The fish are captured either by seans or by drift-net. A sean is a net 200 to 300 fathoms long, and over ten feet deep, having cork buoys on one edge and lead weights on the other. Whenever the fish are brought on shore they are carried to cellars or warehouses, and piled in large heaps, a sufficient quantity of salt being placed between the layers. After remaining in this state for about thirty-five days they are carefully washed and cleaned, and then packed in hogsheads, containing on an average 2,600 fish. They are then pressed, so as to extract the oil, of which each hogshead yields about three gallons, provided the fish be caught in summer. Those taken late in the season do not yield above a gallon and a half. The fresh fish in a hogshead of pilchards weigh about six hundred-weight, and the salt about six hundred-weight and a half; the weight of the hogshead, however, when cured and pressed, is reduced to about four and a half hundred-weight, including the weight of the cask, which ranges form twenty to twenty-four pounds. The quantity of pilchards taken at one time is sometimes extraordinary. Mr. Yavul, in 1841, mentions that an instance has been known where 10,000 hogsheads have been take in one port in a single day, thus providing the enormous multitude of over 25,000,000 of living creatures drawn from the ocean for human sustenance. Pilchards are not used in England except in Devon and Cornwall. They are principally exported, and are largely consumed in some parts of the continent during the season of Lent. The taste of the pilchard is very like that of the herring, but it is more oily. Even after much of the oil has been removed by pressure, it is still as rich as could be wished."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875 (p. 572)
[NOTE: This book offers a recipe for Pilchard and Leek Pie (A Devonshire Dish), instructions for cooking pilchards and a line drawing of the fish.]

"Pilchard, called also the gipsy herring, is a fine fat fish most abundant on the Devonshire and Cornwall coasts; but it is to be found all over the Channel, and on the French coast it goes by the name of sardine. They are large for sardines, but they are treated as such in Devonshire and Cornwall, and are now sold in tins under the name of Cornish sardines. The result is worthy of praise, and ought to be the beginning of a successful industry. It is the first attempt in England to preserve fish in oil. It would be too much to say that they are equal to the best French sardines--that was not to be expected in a first experiment; but still they are good, well-flavoured sardines; and when the Cornish men--Tre, Pol and Pen--have thoroughly mastered the are of preserving fish in oil, their fat little pilchards should be known as the finest sardines in the world, and the perfection of preserved herrings. We know little of the pilchard in London, or anywhere far from Land's End. The fact is, that being the most sublime of herrings, with a richness which raises him almost to the nobleness of a salmon-trout, the pilchard, with all his fatness, begins to spoil much too soon after he has bidden adieu to his native element; and he is by no means sublime--he is even rancid--when he reaches the glorious Walhalla of fish in Billingsgate. Whenever a pilchard is found fresh, he is to be cooked as a herring of high degree. His season is between July and Christmas. It is singular, considering the goodness of the pilchard, that he is of no repute when cured, and is not to be named beside the bloater of Yarmouth, the salt erring of the Dutch, or the red herring of Scotland. Probably the larger pilchards, with their salmon-trout flavour, might make a name for themselves in the form of kipper; and there is now every prospect that the smaller pilchards will spread their renown in the guide of Cornish sardines."
---Kettner's Book of the Table, E.S. Dallas, preface by Derek Hudson, facsimile 1877 edition [Centaur Press:London] 1968 (p. 351-352)

"Pilchards. Those are found in great numbers on the coasts of Cornwall and Devon. They are very oily, and are only eaten in the uncured state in or near the places where caught; but they are cured in large quantities after the oil has been extracted by pressure; even then, they are very rich. While fresh, they may be dressed like herrings, and the pilchards in oil--sold in tins, the Cornish are the best--are very useful as a breakfast dish, or they may be converted into little savouries in the same way as sardines. The cost in the fresh state is uncertain; tinned ones are about 1s for the best brands. In Devonshire, a pie is made of pilchards and leeks, but the taste is an acquired one, and it would probably not prove palatable to those unaccustomed to such a combination. The fin of the pilchard is just in the middle of the back; it is thus easily distinguished from a herring."
---Cassell's New Universal Cookery Book, Lizzie Heritage [Cassell and Company:London] 1894 (p. 174)

According to the Cornish Sardine Management Association, "Cornish Sardines" was coined in 1997. Our research confirms this appellation was used for pilchards in the 19th century.

Recommended reading:
Hevva! Cornish Fishing in the Days of Sail/Ketih Harris [2010]

  • The Housekeeper's Guide to te Fish-market For Each Month of the Year: And an Account of the Fishes and Fisheries of Devon and Cornwall in Respect of Commerce, Economy, Natural History, and Statistics/John Cremer Bellamy [1862]

    Mollusks & snails
    Food historians confirm
    oysters are the most popular mollusks consumed by humans from prehistoric times to present. Snails (both terrestrial and sea) arguably come in second. Think: mussels, escargot, scallops, clams, and periwinkles. Able to survive in both fresh water and seas, hot climates and cold, mollusks required little effort to harvest, compared to game. High in protein and consumable in both raw and cooked states, it is no wonder mollusks played an important role in global cuisine.

    "There is certainly plenty of evidence that prehistoric men took full advantage of this high protein food [mollusks],...A very considerable number of sites throughout the world have yielded shells, both of terrestrial and marine molluscs."
    ---Food in Antiquity, Don Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell, expanded edition [Johns Hopkins University Press:Baltimore MD] 1998 (p. 59)

    What is a mussel?
    "An edible mollusc found in all the oceans of the world, especially in cold regions."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique [Crown Publishing:New York] 1961 (p. 638)

    Why do we call them "mussels?"
    "...that delicious mollusk in the blue-black, hinged double shell, which we call mussel because the Romans called it musculus...Musculus literally means 'little mouse' (mus). Evidently the household rodent and the edible coastal shellfish struck the ancients as similar... In the flexing of the bicep, Romans saw an even that reminded them of the movement of a mouse...In English, we now make an orthographic distinction between the two, but modern Italian continues to reflect the ancient confusion. It uses the same word, muscolo, for thews and for mussels. From the gastronomic (not to mention physiological) point of view, there is no real confusion here at all.When we eat mussels, we are eating muscles (as well as other tissue). Adjuctor muscles hold the two shells of the mussel tightly together. The cook's job is to make those muscles relax so that he or she can get at the little 'mouse' inside."
    ---"A Matter of Taste: Shellfish Desire," Raymond Sokolov, Natural History, April 1979 (p. 104)

    When did mussel farming (aquaculture) begin?
    "Among European mussel eaters, the French claim to have possessed the first mussel farm, in 1235, their national pride no whit diminished by the fact that it was an Irishman who established it, and his achievement, if it can be called that, was the result of a series of mistakes. His first error was to become so unpopular with the police that it seemed advisable to leave Ireland in a hurry. His second was to do so in a boat unequal to its task. His third was to become wrecked on the coast of France. His fourth was to try to feed himself by trapping sea birds. To this end he drove a few stakes into the water at the edge of the beach, in the form of a W, his initial (his name was Patrick Walton), and stretched nets among them. The sea birds declined to fly into the nets, but after a time he noticed that mussels had attached themselves to the stakes and were growing famously there; he shifted from game to seafood. He is also credited for having invented a flat-bottomed boat, name an acon, capable of navigating on a heavy dew, to harvest his mussels from their shallow-water habitat. The stakes are called bouchots, and in France today the most prized mussels are moules de bouchots, smaller, tenderer, paler and tastier than other kinds, and twice as expensive. Assuming that the tale is true, it does not make Patrick Walton Europe's first mussel cultivator, even if it is not exact, as some writers allege, that the ancients were raising mussels at Taranto about 500 BC, lowering bundles of branches or ropes into the water for mussels to cling to. The ancient Gauls seem to have been cultivating mussels before the Romans came; and when the Romans arrived they did the same (but in beds, not on stakes); Patrick Walton's acon is mentioned in the capitularies of Charlemagne only about AD 800."
    ---Food: An Authoritative and Visual History and Dictionary of the Foods of the World, Waverly Root [Smithmark:New York] 1980, 1996 (p. 276)

    Culinary applications:
    "Moules marinier is a classic firshman's preparation that involves steaming mussels in a big pot over a small amount of white wine containing onions, butter, and seasonings,,,Some people make a mock-snail dish with mussels, stuffing the mussels in snail shells and covering them with the garlic butter used with snails. Mussels can be skewered with bacon and broiled. They fry beautifully when breaded or when coated with yeast or beer batters. Italians open them raw, discard one shell, and sprinkle them with grated cheese, parsley, minced garlic, and a little olive oil before running them under the broiler. Mussels lend themselves beautifully to fish soups. A bouillabiasse parisienne is a bouillabaisse with mussels in it. Mussels go well on pizzas. And they make a brilliant addition to pasta...Not all mussel cookery is so simple and unpretentious...sophisticated mussel soup with saffron [served] at an elegant restaurant...Among the really arduous mussel recipes is the old-fashioned French method of stuffing raw mussels...Haute cuisine coast mussels with various sauces and compound butters.."
    ---"A Matter of Taste: Shellfish Desire," Raymond Sokolov, Natural History, April 1979 (p. 108-109)

    Medieval fare: Early French Cookery: Sources, History, Original Recipes and Modern Adaptations/D. Eleanor Scully & Terence Scully confirms The Viandier (15th century French cooking text) published simple directions for cooking mussels in water with vinegar and some mint, "and to eat them with vinegar or Green Verjuice or Green Garlic Sauce, or to dress them in spice powder; some add butter. The Viandier then says they can also be made into a stew...but does not offer us a recipe for this procedure." (p. 217)

    Early Modern cuisine: La Varenne [1651, 1653] instructs thusly: "Mussels of fish. Cleanse them, and boile them a very little with a bundle of herbs. As soon as they are opened, take them up, and take them out of the shell. Then fry them with fresh butter, parsley and minced chibols, seasoned with pepper and nutmeg. Then ally some yolks of eggs with verjuice, and mix them together. Serve, and garnish with the best shaped of their shells."
    ---The French Cook, La Varenne, Englished by I.D.G. 1653, introduced by Philip and Mary Hyman [Southover Press:East Sussex] 2001 (p. 157)

    "Mussels a la marinere...Line a buttered saucepan with 2 tablespoons of chopped shallot. Add one or two sprigs of parsley, a sprig of thyme and a quarter of a bay leaf. Put in 2 quarts (litres) of mussels, trimmed, scraped and washed. Add 2 tablespoons of butter cut into very small pieces. Moisten with 1 cup (2 decilitres) of dry white wine. Cook, covered, over a very high flame. As soon as the mussels are fully opened, drain them. Remove one shell from each, and put them in a bowl. Keep hot. Take the parsley, thyme and bay leaf out of the saucepan. Add 3 tablespoons of butter to the stock. Mix well and pour over the mussels. Sprinkle with chopped parsley."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique [Crown Publishing:New York] 1961 (p. 639)
    [NOTE: This book also offers recipes for Mussels a la bordelaise, Mussels in cream, Curried mussels, Fried mussels, Mussels a la hontroise, Mussels a la poulette, Mussels in a border (ring) of rice, Rissoto with mussels , Mussel sauce and Mussel soup.]

    Ancient Roman Apicius included two recipes using mussels. One is steamed in white wine, passum (dessert wine) leeks, savory, cumin, garum (anchovies). The other is Mussel Balls: steamed, pounded to a paste, combined with eggs and grain, and roasted over hot ashes. Think: meatballs

    15th century Platina on mussels (Book X:38): Mussels are a kind of shellfish. They ought to be cooked in a pan without water. When you see the shells open because of the heat, put in verjuice with a bit of ground pepper and chopped parsley, and mix and transfer immediately into serving dishes. First, they should be kept a night or a day in well-salted water so that they lose their natural bitterness."
    ---Platina: On Right Pleasure and Good Health, A critical edition and translation of De Honesta Voluptate et Valetudine, Mary Ella Milham [Medieval & Renaissance Texts and Studies:Tempe AZ] 1998 (p. 449)

    16th century Martino on mussels: "Take a dry pan and place the mussels in it over heat; and when they open, they are cooked; as soon as you see them open, add a little verjuice to the pan and some pepper and finely chopped parsley, and flip them once or twice in the pan. Likewise, they can be cooked on a hot iron rod or on hot coals, and when they open they are cooked. But note that they will be better if soaked in well-salted water for a day or a night, because it will make them purge the sand that they have inside."
    ---The Art of Cooking, composed by the eminent Maestro Martino of Como, edited and with an introduction by Luigi Ballerini, translated and annotated by Jeremy Parzen [University of California Press:Berkeley CA] 2005 (p. 103)

    "Mussels are the oysters of the poor, said Grimod de la Reyniere, and they ought to be favoured also by the rich, for there is scarcely a shell-fish which surpasses them in flavour. Especially in these days, when oysters are dear, mussels might occasionally take their place in sauces and stews. The French are wise, for they still hold the mussel in regard--it is one of the chief attractions of that noble ragout, the Normandy Matelote. In England--be it said with shame--the mussel is chiefly used for bait; it is rarely seen at any good English table--it is only in houses where the French style of cookery reigns that it is to be had. People are afraid of mussels because once or twice they have proved to be hurtful. So have mushrooms; so have melons: but still mushrooms and melons are eaten. Mussel-poisoning must be extremely rare--or we should know more about it. Our science is not so backward that if, among the myriads of mussels which the French consume, the cases of poisoning were numerous."
    ---Kettner's Book of the Table, R.S. Dallas, facsimile 1877 edition [Centaur Press:London] 1968 (p. 307-308)

    "Mussels are cheap and full of flavour. They may be used with advantage instead of oysters for fish sauces and stews. Many people are afraid of them, thinking they are poisonous, bu they are wholesome enough if well washed, and if the piece of weed, and also a small crab often found inside, are removed before serving. They should be avoided in those months which have not R in the names."
    ---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875 (p. 436)
    [NOTE: We find it curious after stating the English consider mussels poisonous, ten recipes are provided: Mussels a la Poulette, Mussels and Rice, Boiled Mussels, Fried Mussels, Ketchup of Mussels, Pickled Mussels, Ragout of Mussels, Sauce of Mussels, Scallopped Mussels, Soup of Mussels and Stewed Mussels.]

    United States
    "The Atlantic coast Indians had non-poisonous mussels and were afraid to eat the; the Pacific coast Indians had poisonous mussels and ate them all the same. Nearly half of the flesh food consumed by prehistoric Pacific coast Indians was provided by shellfish; and among shellfish, in a kitchen midden found on Catalina Island dated ate 4000 to 3500BC, two kinds dominated all the others--the abalone and the mussel."
    ---Food: An Authoritative and Visual History and Dictionary of the Foods of the World, Waverly Root [Smithmark:New York] 1980, 1996 (p. 276)

    "In most of North America, mussels were almost ignored as a food source until the last half of the twentieth century. Mussels were known in Europe and Great Britain as edible, although some cookery literature pointed out that people sometimes became sick after eating them...There was very minor commercial gathering of mussels for the New York market, and an effort was made around the turn of the twentieth century to persuade consumers to use them. In the last few decades of the twentieth century, with clams becoming scarce and expensive and with the public becoming more aware of various ethnic mussel dishes, the shellfish grew in popularity."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, volume 1 (p. 487)

    "In the past, freshwater mussels have been gathered commercially in the United States, and Illinois has always been a leader in the harvest. During the 1800s, mussels were used to manufacture tons of pearly buttons. The button industry continued to grow here and abroad and, in 1932, some 54.2 million pounds of mussels were gathered nationwide by professional fishermen."
    ---Edible Plants and Animals, A.D. Livingston and Helen Livingston [Facts on File:New York] 1993 (p. 93)

    "Among the lesser-known prizes available to New Yorkers are mussels, known in France as the poor man's oyster. Throughout the winter months they are relatively plentiful at first-class fish markets here and the cost is relatively low. Although mussels are the base for some of the most delectable dishes known, some cooks forswear them on the grounds that they are difficult to clean. And indeed they well may be. Mussels spend their existence clinging to rocks and piers with enormous tenacity and a fiber-like tuft outside the shell is a characteristic...Perhaps the best known of all mussel dishes is the simplest. It is called mussels a la mariniere. "One of the sublime creations of all time, however, is billi bi, a cream of mussel soup. It is made with the cooking liquid of mussels, egg yolks and heavy cream. After the dish is made, the mussels may be reserved for another use or they may be taken out of thsell and served in the soup."
    ---"Food News: The Poor Man's Oyster," Craig Claiborne, New York Times, November 22, 1961 (p. 22)

    Related dish" Billy bi (mussel soup)

    "Though not an English mollusk, the clam was sufficiently similar to the English mussel and cockle to be readily adopted into the colonists' diet. On occasion, it was even admired...There were practical reasons why there was little enthusiasm fo rshellfish. On the simplest ground, the settlers, coming mostly from the middle levels of European society, would have considrered a hardship any diet that relied exclusively on one food, if only seasonally. Also, while they employed Indians as shellfish gatherers, the English were sometimes forced to collect this resource themselves, and this was no easy task. Obtaining enough shellfish to sustain a family was exhausting work...It was during the eighteenth century that the clam began to escape its old associations for the colonists and to assume a new identity as an agreeable food. But the process was a slow one...the clam was becoming a symbol not only of the scarcity of the early years but rather of the natural abundance that fed the revered founders...In fact, many different seashells "were being incorprated regulary in physcial as well as symbolic form in American commemorative celebrations by the end of the eighteenth century...The shell had...become a symbol of American cornucopia...As the nineteenth century progressed, the new notion of shellfish, especially clams, as symbols of bounty and celebration took firmer hold...Clams were entering the cuisine in chowders, soups, stews and pies. But clams also retained older associations with simple sustencance and were till eaten as inexpensive everyday fare..."
    ---America's Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking/Keith Stavely & Kathleen Fitzgerald [University of North Carolina Press:Chapel Hill NC] 2004 (p. 88-90)

    Clam bakes
    The history of the "traditional" New England clam bake might surprise you.
    Clams were indeed plentiful, but the early American settlers considered them starvation food. The practice of the New England clam bake, as we know it today, began after the Civil War.

    "Indians, it is said, discovered clambaking first. Back before history, they had learned how to cook clams and other seafood in pits dug on the beach, usuing hot rocks for heat and wet seaweed for steam. When the Pilgrims arrived, the Indians taught them how to do these clambakes, along with a lot of other useful things, and this tradition was passed along, unbroken, in Yankee culture form generation to generation, down to the present eay. Or at least that's how the story usually goes, asserted and "proven" time and time again in the reports of archaeologists and antiquarians, in various culinary histories, in journalistic, literary, and poetic renderings, and in the testimonies of enthusiastic modern-day clambakers and clam eaters. A statement such as "The Pilgrims learned the ingenious technique [of clambaking] from the Indians" is a succinct presentation of an idea that is not only commonly accepted but that has also substituted for other, more rigorous attempts to chronicle the presence of this unique foodway on American soil. The fact that there is no direct proof for this particular history of clambaking marks the beginning of the story I will try to tell. A close study of the evidence suggests that instead fo being a seamlessly organic development, the transmission of a clambake tradition has been uneven, at best, and, at worst, shows signs of having been extremely "unnatural." However we may ultimately judge its role within native American cultural practices, the clambake within a Yankee contect has been consistently manipulated for a variety of proposes. Particularly during the late nineteenth century,when clambaking reached the zenith of its popularity, the clambake appears to be a by-product of a combined romantic and capitalistic fervor. "Invented tradition" is the term historians Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger have given to phenomena like this--revered folk customs and ritual complexes that appear to be based on older social orders but that are, in fact, constructed and reconstructed by different groups and generations in such a way as to legitimate existent institutions and values."
    ---Clambake: A History & Celebration of An American Tradition, Kathy Neustadt [University of Massachusetts Press:Amherst] 1992 (p. 15-16)

    "Generations of historians incorrectly record that the New Rngland clambake is the survival of a native custom learned by the first English colonists. Archaelogidal and hsitorical evidence supports clam eating by Native Americans, but not by the newcomers, who identified them with 'savagery.' Clams were a starvation ration to the Europeans, who used the abundant shellfish to feed pigs. The clambake myth arose from the social and political changes grough about by American independnce. The new nation needed an icon of its unique cultural identity, and an 'ancient ritual' featuring indigenous food provided it. It is no accident that the popularity of the clambake exploded after the Civil War, when a new national myth was again created. Plymouth replaced Jamestown as the cradle of America, and the 'New England' clambake became an American institution. The advent of mass transportion in the late nineteenth century gave businessmen the opportunity to turn the clambake into a tourist industry...No longer exclusive to New England, clambakes seem to require only that the clams be cooked by setam. A 'traditional' calmbake occurs in a pit dug in the sand of the beach where the clams are gathered. The pit is lined with rocks, and a fire is built over them. Then the rocks are white hot, they are covered with layers of seaweed, clams, and other foods. A wet tarp is laid over all until the food is cooked. Items typically included on the menu are lobster, corn, white potatoes, clam chowder and cold beer."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New YOrk] 2004, volume 1 (p. 237)

    "A Clam Bake.

    An impromptu clam bake may be had at any time at low tide along the coast where clams are found. If you wish to have genuine fun, and to know what an appetite one can have for the bivalves, make up a pleasant party and dig for the clams yourselves. A short thick dress, shade hat, rubber boots,--or, better still, no boots at all, if you can bring your mind to the comfort of bare feet,--a small garden trowel, a fork, and a basket, and you are ready. Let those who are not digging gather a large pile of driftwood and seaweed, always to be found along the shore. Select a dozen or more large stones, and of them make a level floor; pile the driftwood upon them, and make a good brisk fire to heat the stones thoroughly. When hot enough to crackle as you sprinkle water upon them, brush off the embers, letting them fall between the stones. Put a thin layer of seaweed on the hot stones, to keep the lower clams from burning. Rinse the clams in salt water by plunging the basket which contains them in the briny pools near by. Pile them over the hot stones, heaping them high in the centre. Cover with a thick layer of seaweed, and a piece of old canvas, blanket, carpet, or dry leaves, to keep in the steam. The time for baking will depend upon the size and quantity of the clams. Peep in occasionally at those around the edge. When the shells are open, the clams are done. They are delicious eaten from the shell, with no other sauce than their own briny sweetness. Melted butter, pepper, and vinegar should be ready for those who wish them; then all may "fall to." Fingers must be used. A Rhode Islander would laugh at any one trying to use a knife and fork. Pull off the thin skin, take them by the black end, dip them in the prepared butter, and bite off close to the end. If you swallow them whole, they will not hurt you. At a genuine Rhode Island clam bake, blue-fish, lobsters, crabs, sweet potatoes, and ears of sweet corn in their gauzy husks are baked with the clams. The clam steam gives them a delicious flavor. Brown bread is served with the clams, and watermelon for dessert completes the feast."
    --- Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Mrs. D.A. Lincoln

    Another traditional American meal that began after the Civil War? Thanksgiving (as we know it today).

    Clams Casino
    In 2009, FT editor wrote this general historical overview
    "The Truth About Clams Casino," Lynne M. Olver, Gastronomica, Winter 2009 (p. 88-90). As noted in this article, recipes that achieving Clams Casino predate the name. Newly uploaded Internet content (GoogleBooks, NYPL digitized menus) enable us to push back the first print reference date. Of course, without recipes, we cannot be 100% certain these Clams Casino references are the same dish we know today. The fact our older sources are from NYC confirms the dish's existence in that place/time. Not necessarily point of origination. This evidence does, however, completely debunk the 1917 Keller theory of origin.

    Food history 101: Curious readers and professional scholars naturally question "claims" of first occurance (print or otherwise). The Internet makes it relatively easy to identify earlier dates for recipes, ingredients, &c. than found in standard food history reference sources. That, in itself, does not discredit the value of the book or author's credibility. History is collective effort. Enjoy the journey & share what you find!

    [1901] "Soft Clams, Casino", Rectors [NYC] & "Soft Clams Casino", Claremont Hotel [NYC]
    [1907] "Soft Clams Casino" The Ansonia [NYC]
    [1908] "Clams Casino - baked in shell bacon and peppers., Explanations of all terms used in Coockery Cellaring and the preparation of drinks Pocket Dictionary Kurt Heppe (p. 50)
    [1914] "Soft Clams, Casino", The Annex [NYC]

    "The crowning event of the Booksellers' Convention was the beautifully arranged and lavishly generous entertainment that was given to the members of the Association, their wives and sweethearts by Funk & Wagnalls Company, at Long Beach. Long Island. An invitation was extended to everyone to assemble at the offices of the company in the Hess building at Fourth Avenue, on Thursday morning, the 14th, at half past eleven. The guests were then shown the handsome suites and offices occupied by the firm, which commanded a view of the city in every direction. Automobiles were furnished to convey the guests to the Long Island station, where a special train was waiting to take the party to Long Beach...Just before arriving, the guests were requested to assemble on the piazza of the Nassau Hotel, so that their pictures might be taken. Immediately after the party was photographed, luncheon was announced and two hundred guests filed into the beautiful dining room of the Hotel Nassau and partook of the following delicious menu, which was perfectly cooked and served... Menu...Canape of Anchovy...Soft Clams Casino..."
    "Funk & Wagnalls Company Entertain the Booksellers at Long Beach, Long Island," The Bookseller Newsdealer & Stationer, May 15, 1914 (p. 530)

    "Snail. Escargot. The common name for a land gastropod mollusc. It was highly prized as food as far back as Roman times. The art of fattening snails is said to have been discovered by a Roman named Fulvious Lupinus. In France, the vinyard snail is the most popular."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne [Crown Publishers:New York] 1961(p. 882)

    "Snail, group of terrestrial molluscs. Numerous species are native to Europe, some much bigger and better to eat than others. An early sign of their use for human food is the pile of discarded snail shells at Franchthi, dated around 10,700 B.C. Snails were also eaten at Minoan Akrotiri, perhaps imported there from Crete as a luxury item. Romans took snails seriously; their was probably the first civilisation in which snails were kept and fattened for the table. The made a suitable gustus or appetiser, as Apicius shows. Snails were also a common food among Greeks of the Roman period, according to Galen; however, Greeks rather seldom wrote about eating snails...Snails were fattened on emmer meal mixed with grape syrup."
    ---Food in the Ancient World from A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 305)

    "The first French snail recipe was given around 1390 (by the author of the Menagier de Paris [a cookbook]), but was not echoed in other medieval French cookery texts such as the Viandier of Tallevent. The only reference to snail-eating in the 15th century seems to imply that it was practised in Lombardy rather than in France. In the 16th century there are numerous signs of a more positive attitude and it is clear that they were served at banquets. Of particular note is their inclusion in a little booklet published in 1530, whose title translates as A Noteworthy Treatise Concerning the Properties of Turtles, Snails, Frogs, and Artichokes by Estienne Laigue. The author criticized four foods that he felt were all equally bizarre but popular with his contemporaries. Of the four, he was kindest to this snail...After 1560 snails went into a decline for about 90 years, culminating in a virtual banishment from refined tables for almost 200 years thereafter. The evidence for this was abundant. If a cookery book gave a recipe for snails, it would be with an apology for introducing such a distasteful foodstuff...not a single one of the best restaurants in Paris in 1815 had snails on the menu...although snails were absent from Parisian tables at the beginning of the 19th century, they were being eaten in the eastern provinces...When the great comeback began, in the 1840s, and turned into what, despite the slow locomotive habits of snails, might be called a flood in the 1850s and 1860s, it could be seen to be linked to the spread of brasseries in Paris; and there were typically opened by Alsatians, neighbours who doubtless shared the taste of the snail-eaters in Lorraine...Certainly, the comeback was very noticeable and achieved so complete a reinstatement of the snail that it has stayed in place ever since."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 727, 729)

    Escoffier offers five escargot recipes in his famous Guide Culinaire [1907]: a la Mode d'A'bbaye (onions, cream, egg yolks), a la Bourguignonne (buttered-stuffed with white bread crumbs), a la Chablisienne (white wine, shallot, butter), a la Dijonaaise (white wine, challlot, butter, pepper, cloves, garlic, truffles) & Beignets d'Escargots a la Vigneronne (deep-fried with butter, chopped shallot, garlic, salt).

    Sea snails & periwinkles
    There are several types of edible sea snails. One of the most popular is the periwinkle, originally a "poor man's" food now served by some fine restaurants.

    What is a sea snail?
    "Sea snail." 1. A name for various marine gasteropods...2. A fish of the family Liparididae, esp. the Liparis vulgaris, or unctuous sucker."
    ---Oxford English Dictionary.
    [NOTE: The earliest print reference cited by the OED to this word dates to 1000 (definintion 1), and 1672 (definition 2).] The entry for "sea snail" in The New Food Lover's Companion (3rd edition/Sharon Tyler Herbst) refers us to this entry for periwinkle:
    "There are over 300 species of this conical, spiral-shelled univalve mollusk...but few are edible. Periwinkles, also called bigaros, sea snails or winkles, are found attached to rocks, wharves, pilings, etc. in both fresh and sea water. The most common edible periwinkle is found along the Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America. It grows to about 1 inch in size and is gray to dark olive with reddish-brown bands. Periwinkles are popular in Europe but rarely found in the United States. They're usually boiled in their shells, then extracted with a small pick." (p. 460)

    About periwinkles
    "Periwinkle. Littorina littorea, an edible mollusc living in a small single shell...widely distributed on both sides of the N. Atlantic. Periwinkles, or winkles as their vendors commonly call them, are now eaten much more in Europe than America, although the middens of American Indians testify to their use there in the past. Prehistoric mounds in Denmark, Scotland, and elsewhere show that they have been a popular European food for a very long time; and the diveristy of vernacular names, such as kruuk'ls in Zeeland, points to continuing popularity in more recent centuries. Now, however, they are becoming a grander food, being served as amuse-greules in expensive restaurants. Species of Littorina are found around the world...It is usual to cook periwinkles for about 10 minutes in boiling, salted water, and then to pick them out of their shells with a pit. The cooked winkles can be eaten thus; but in some places they are dressed with a sauce, and then have an egg or two cracked over them to be left to fry or else scrambled."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 596)

    "Periwinkle. These are small snaillike mollusks belonging to the family or Littorinidae. There are nearly 300 species known throughout the world but relatively few of these reach edible sizes. Winkles livein large colonies in freshwater, brackish and marine environments...The common edible marine periwinkle...was originally found in the European Atlantic but has spread around the eastern coast of North America from canada during the apst two centuries, passing Cape Cod a little over 100 years ago. It now occurs as far south as Delaware Bay...Roasted in the shell, winkles were once hawked on the streets of London, and they are still purveyed both in cooked and uncooked form in Great Britian's markets...Northern European countries utilize about 5,000t tons annually. Periwinkles are generally and collectively known as bigorneauxz (plural) in French cuisine, but provincially the mollusk is called vognot in Brittany and brelin in Normandy...Periwinkles are delicious when simply boiled in salted water until the "lid" of thes shell, or operculum, falls open. The meats can be picked out with a pin and dipped into melted butter. Also known as Bigorneau (France), Bigaro (Spain), Burrie (Portugal), Chiocciola di mare (Italy), Strandsnegl (Denmark & Norway), Strandsnacka (Sweden), Strandschnecke (Germany), Puzic (Yugoslavia), Tamakibi (Japan).
    ---The Encyclopedia of Fish Cookery, A.J. McClaine [Holt, Rinehart and Winston:New York] 1977 (p. 229)

    "The perwinkle (Turbo littoreus) is more extensively used as food than any of the other testaceous univalves. It owuld hardly be supposed that so triffling an article of consumption as periwinkles could form a matter of extensive traffic; but the quantity consumed annually in London has been estimated at 76,000 baskets, weighing 1,900 tons, and valued at L15,000. This well-known mollusc is found on all the rocks and shores of our own islands which are left uncovered by the tide, and also in America and other countries. The cockneys and their visitors are deeply indebted to the industrtious inhabitants of Kerara, near Oban, for a plentious treat of this rather vulgar luxury; and the Kerarans are no less obliged to the Londoners for a never-failing market, for what now appears to be their general staple article. They are gathered by the poor people, who get 6d. A bushel for collecting them. From Oban they are forwarded to Glascow, and thence to Liverpool, en route to London. Very few are retained in transit, better profits being obtained in London, even after paying so much sea and land carriage. Every week there are probably 30 tons or more of this insignificant edible sent up to London, from Glasgow, all of which are collected near Oban, and must be a means of affording considerable employment, and diffusing a considerable amount weekly in wages, amongst the numerious persons employed. The periwinkles are packed in bags, containing from two to three cwt. Each, and keep quite fresh until they arrive at their utimate destination. In London they sell at 3d. A pint."
    ---The Curiosities Of Food, Peter Lund Simmons, facsimile 1859 edition with introduction by Alan Davidson, [Ten Speen Press:Berkeley] 2001 (p. 344-5)

    [London:1874?] "Periwinkle. Littorina littoria is pre-eminently the periwinkle of the British coasts. Immense quantities are brought to the London market, and form a considerable article of food among the poorer classes. After being boiled, the animal is picked out of the shell with a pin. "Periwinkles, boiled, --Wash the periwinkles in several waters, and then let them soak in plenty of fresh water for half an hour; when that is done, wash them again. These precautions will be found necessary to cleanse the fish from the mud and sand which adhere to them. Before boiling, shake them up to make them withdraw into their shells. Put them into a saucepan, and cover with boiling sea-water that has stood a little while to settle, and then been poured off from the sediment. Boil quickly for twenty minutes, and serve, accompanied by brown bread and butter. Probably cost, 2d. A pint. Suffiecent for three or four persons."
    ---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1874? (p. 537)

    Sharks have been relished in many cultures and cuisines for hundreds of years. In China,
    shark's fins are celebrated banquet fare. In the United States shark consumption is a 20th century phenomenon. We were surprised to learn American consumption begins during WWI. Why did Americans begin consuming sharks & what kind did we prefer?

    "For aestetic reasons sharks have never been a popular food in America, at leat not under their correct name. Yet, both primitive and sophisticated cultures have utilized sharks as food since ancient times. Although the flesh of some sharks is known to have a strong purgative effect on man (the cow sharks) and in some instances may be toxic, as in the case of the Greenland shark which is perfectly edible when allowed to ferment in making Eskimo tipnuk or the Iceland hakarl, other species are an excellent food. The factor that prevents large-scale marketing in America is largely psychological, and not indicative of an inferior product. In 1916 the U.S. government embarked upon a campaign to promote a small shark known as the 'dogfish' as a source of protein, and a substantial market existed until the end of World War I. This diminished until the period from 1937 to 1941 when an intensive commercial fishery was conducted for high-potency vitamin A shark livers. The flesh was purveyed under the name 'grayfish,' which did not promote sales, nor did later use of the already popular 'whitefish' gain currency. Nevertheless, as much as 9 million pounds of shark was landed in one year in California alone. After begin processed for liver, the edible parts were sold. This was the peak of shark consumption in the U.S...Along the coast of Maine old salts called the dogfish harbor halibut."
    ---The Encyclopedia of Fish Cookery, A.J. McClane [Holt, Rinehart and Winston:New York] 1977 (p. 312)
    [NOTE: This book offers instructions for butchering and cooking shark and recipes for Barbecued shark, Shark with Chinese vegetables, Shark-fin soup, and Fish 'N'Chips.]

    "An exhibition of the latest researches in food values and economies was opened at the American Museum of Natural History yesterday. It was announced that members of the museum staff had tried shark meat and found it tasty. A shark steak was shown ready to be cooked."
    ---"Shark Steak in Food Show," New York Times, May 24, 1917 (p. 22)

    "Russell J. Coles, who taught Col. Roosevelt how to harpoon devilfish, announced today that he has discovered a method of preventing world-wide starvation by tests he has carried out with regard to certain species of the dark shark and ray family. Mr. Coles has just come back from Morehead City, N.C. where he caught a number of fish, and despite the popular belief that the eating of them would bring death in a terrible form, he decided to take the risk and he sampled several of them. He has sent a complete record of his findings to Herbert Hoover in the hope that the food administrator will incline an ear and start the fashion of shark eating...After trying various methods the Danville man gives the following recipe for cooking shark steak: Salt heavily for 30 minutes, soak out in three waters, parboil again, cook heavily seasoned and and serve hot. The amount of seasoning must be used according to the odor of the meal."
    ---"Offers Shark Meat to a Hungry World," special to the Washington Post, August 26, 1917 (p. 14)

    "Shark steak will be the piece de resistance at the annual banquet of the Society for the Propagation of the Truth About Sharks. Which is soon to be held. The society includes no vegetarians in its circle, and, as far as we know, has not a single member who has any qualms about eating the fair game that is sought by the human species. It is chiefly concerned with reduing the sum total of human fear, by showing that the shark is far from being the frightful creature so often pictured by the human imagination in its mood of distortion. Not a little of this fear of sharks is a pure psychological reaction. To be beautiful is to be good, and to be ugly is to be damned."
    ---"The Misunderstood Shark," Washington Post, June 9, 1939 (p. 12)

    "'I know a fellow who prefers a nice mako shark steak to swordfish...I'm not an enthusiastic fish-eater, but mako and dogfish (a species of sharl)...are very tasty...[John G.] Casey, acting director of the Narragansett Marine Gamefish Laboratory, is convinced that sharks are a significant United States fisheries resource, a resource that is currently neglected. In Japan, Europe and Africa hundreds of tons of shark are consumed annually. Commercial landings in the United States are about six or seven million pounds annually...To this writer's knowledge, few, if any, of the shark steaks or fillets retailed for human consumption in the United States are labled shark. Although some people migh turn up their nose at shark meat, most Americans who served in the Euopean Theater during World War II probably didn't realized the dish of England's famous fish and chips was usually dogfish or school shark."
    ---"Wood, Field and Strem: Shark Called Tasty Item for Dinner," Nelson Bryant, New York Times, December 22, 1968 (p. S6)

    "It seemed only fair that a beast responsible for the dark paranoia of millions of moviegoers should now supply some sustenence in the shape of Shark Steak, Shark Benedict, and succulent Shark Marseille. Eating shark, apparently, is the latest spin-off from "Jaws," and while the sophisticates along the Eastern seaboard and in Florida and California will no doubt lay claim to eating it all the time, it is just beginning to find a market in Chicago...'The trend has created an instant demand...Even then there are only a few sharks that are edible. The most popular one is the Mako.'And fly it in from the coast they did...First Shark Steak, grilled over charcoal, then Shark Benedict...Shark Marseille--thin strips of shark cooked in butter and sherry, with all manner of seasoning...Part of the shark shortage problem is that there is no industry set up for catching shark for the table. Recently, fishermen who have caught them have take only the jaws and teeth, which then are sold at inflated prices. The meat has been thrown away. Now, as the food becomes more and more popular, the fishermen are selling to restaurants all over the country... Most people...approach eating shark apprehensively, and it certainly looks formidable as it is being cut up...The popular opinon tha shark tastes like is a clean, dry taste with virtually no fish smell. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals and has almost as much protein as canned tuna. One big disadvantage is the price. It retails at around $2.95 a pound."
    ---"A Switch! You Eat The Shark," Sean Toolan, Chicago Tribune, January 11, 1976 (p. 8)

    "Shark meat, once disguised under names such as flake and steak fish, has become an acceptable alternative to higher-priced tuna and swordfish. Fishermen say they get $2 to $2.50 a pound at the dock for prized mako shark steak and about 50 cents a pound for the less desirable species. A shark fin brings $5 to $10 a pound. The Fulton Fish Market Retail Store at the South Street Seaport in New York sells mako shark to consumers at $5.95 a pound, swordfish at $8.95 a pound and tuna at $9.95 a pound."
    ---"Forget what you thought of sharks, they're really neat," Daniel Machalbala, Wall Street Journal, September 20, 1990 (p. A1)

    "For years swordfish was relegated to the role of token fish offering on meat-oriented restaurant menus. Now it seems forgotten in the throng of more exciting-sounding and less expensive fish. Swordfish likely never will be inexpensive because the large, dramatic-looking fish with the swordlike upper jaw is caught by time-consuming longline harpoon rather than nets. Indeed, the high price of swordfish tempts some dealers to pass off similar-looking mako shark steaks as the real thing."
    ---"Swordfish may be pricey but its good qualities make it ideal for fast meals," Patricia Tennyson, Chicago Tribune, August 1, 1991 (p. 10)

    "At one time the cry "shark!" quickly brought panic and mayhem. Now, it's more likely a call to the dinner table. If seafood is part of your regular diet, there's a good chance you've unknowingly dined on this fish more than once. For instance, a "swordfish steak" may actually be mako shark; "scallops" are sometimes sharkfin plugs. In many locales, "Fish 'n' Chips" might be more appropriately called "Shark 'n' Spuds." Certainly, shark by any other name still tastes as good, but why not choose to eat it for its own sake? With a minimum of preparation and proper cooking, it provides excellent, firm steaks; if you don't go offshore yourself, it's usually reasonably priced at retail fish markets; and your local fish purveyor has already done the hard work. Once it reaches retailers, shark meat has been bled, cleaned, and is nearly ready to cook. If you buy over the counter, select shark steaks or fillets that have a clean, white color and no yellowing, blood spots, or freezer burn (if the steaks were frozen). Whether the meat had to be thawed, is "fresh local," or came from your own efforts, soak it in milk for at least 1 hour before any other preparation takes place. A milk marinade tames the gamey flavor and readies the meat for just about any savory whitefish recipe. Once soaked, shark can be grilled, broiled, baked, fried in strips, or used in chowders, stocks, stews, and soups."
    ---"How to make a killer dinner," William Reidenbach, Field and Stream, August 1993 (p. 63)

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    3 January 2015