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Lobster Newburg Was On The JFK Inaugural Dinner Menu

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March 25th is the 24 hours designated as National Lobster Newburg Day.    Lobster Newburg is an American seafood dish made with lobster, butter, cream, cognac, sherry, eggs and cayenne pepper.  It is an elegant and classic dish enjoyed by many since the late 1800s. 

Debuting in 1876 at Delmonico’s, a fine New York restaurant, this dish was invented by sea captain Ben Wenburg.  He demonstrated the recipe to restaurant manager Charles Delmonico and refinements were made by chef Charles Ranhofer. The creation was then added to the restaurant’s menu as Lobster a la Wenburg.  The dish grew fast in popularity.

There was an argument between Wenburg and manager Charles Delmonica which caused the dish to be removed from the menu, but after many requests from patrons, it returned with a new name. The entree came to be known as Lobster Newburg.

Lobsters are invertebrates with a hard protective exoskeleton. Like most arthropods, lobsters must molt in order to grow, which leaves them vulnerable. During the molting process, several species change color. Lobsters have 10 walking legs; the front three pairs bear claws, the first of which are larger than the others.

  • Lobsters can live to be 100 years old or older, if fishermen leave them alone.
  • Most lobsters travel over 100 miles a year and have migratory patterns.
  • The largest lobster documented by the Maine Department of Marine Resources was caught in 1977 off the coast of Nova Scotia, approximately 100 years old and weighing in at 44 pounds, 6 ounces.
  • Out of 1,000 lobster eggs, only one lives to grow and mature.
  • Lobsters come with different colors; all turn red when cooked because all color dyes get destroyed while cooking except the red dye.
  • Lobsters (as well as snails and spiders) have blue blood. The color comes from the copper found in the blue haemocyanin molecule in their blood.
  • During colonial days, lobsters were plentiful and were the food for the poor. There are records from the 1800s of servants requesting not to eat lobsters more than 3 times a week.
  • Historical lore notes that lobster likely joined turkey on the table at the very first Thanksgiving Day feast in 1621.
  • Lobster Newburg was featured on the menu at the inaugural dinner celebration for President John F. Kennedy.


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