Thursday, September 1, 2011

Creamed Lobster

All Lobby the Lobster wanted to be when he grew up was to be handsome enough to be served in a fine dining establishment. Indeed, it was the ambition of many of his peers to spend their last days in a gently bubbling tank with a great view of the ocean from whence they came, perhaps through the restaurant’s giant bay windows. To this end, he spent many an hour practicing to become as enticing as possible to tourists with an expensive palate, and had achieved mastery of a kind of slow claw wave that everyone agreed was highly distinctive and ought to win him the prize of being selected by a Prince or at least a baron of industry or his wife for their entree.

When the day came, as he knew it would — when the nets descended upon him and he got his first taste of air aboard a bobbing vessel — he became patiently docile while his magnificent claws were taped and he was placed into a plastic box. He could barely contain his excitement at the fish market when he was purchased by a gruff chap in a long white coat smeared with fish scales.

But when Lobby got his first glimpse of his destination his little crustacean heart dropped: alas! The fluorescent lighting, the stainless steel, the ominous conveyor belt…it could only mean one thing: the dreaded factory where death was delivered not at the merciful point of a sharply honed chef’s knife driven hard through the head — but in the hellish maws of the crusher and thence the dismemberment chamber.

Lobby had heard horror stories of ancestors who’d met their fate in this fashion, boiled and flash frozen, their various parts scattered far and wide in several separate bags to sit in some dire supermarket aisle. He uttered one last anguished cry before the hammer came down, but at least he was spared the knowledge that some of him would become part of this dish.

Next time you decide to make Creamed Lobster Vol-Au-Vents, remember that lobsters are lobsters, too.

Fish & Seafood Cookbook, Brand Name Publishing Corp. 1985

Also from this book: The Heart of Pineapple, Hillbilly Sashimi
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