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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.

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.

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 1880, there were twenty-three lobster canneries in Maine...

Culinary evidence confirms lobsters were known to ancient Romans and Greeks.

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. 186) [NOTE: This book has separate entries for selected popular dishes: Lobster rolls, lobster Newburg, lobster a l'americaine, and lobster fra diavolo.

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.

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