Magazine article The Spectator

The Voice of the Lobster

Magazine article The Spectator

The Voice of the Lobster

Article excerpt

In existence for over 250 millions years, lobsters come in two distinct varieties, 'clawed and clawless'.

Human predators tend to the flawed and clueless as they overfish and - since lobsters must be cooked live - kill them heartlessly.

Part of 'the Edible Series', dedicated to the global history of one type of ingredient, Lobster by Elisabeth Townsend (Reaktion Books, £9.99) considers the creature that inspired mosaic artists in ancient Pompeii, reclined like a cardinal in still life paintings, gave Salvador Dali a telephone handle, fed the indigent poor and later the spoiled rich and became a partial success in shellfish farming.

Reading its 128 pages inclusive of recipes will leave almost anyone considerably more clued up about lobsters than they were before.

Did you know they can grow to the size of a large child? …

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