March 2009

Lobster the New Bologna?

In 1621 after the Mayflower colonists settled, the Atlantic lobster was so plentiful along the coast of Massachusetts that the colonists perceived lobster as a trashfish, the food one ate if one had nothing better. So common were lobsters that the colonists, in emulation of the native population, picked lobster up at low tide along the kelp beds and used them as fertilizer for their crops. In 1623 Governor William Bradford was heartily embarrassed that the colonists had nothing better to serve the new arrivals than native lobster. Even decades later, young lads were sent to catch lobster from tide pools when household budgets and food fell short.