Byron on the marriage of women and lobsters

Iconic literary food moments

Our recipe for this episode was a simply divine lobster and salmon mousse. A little bit of research on the subject revealed that lobsters have long held a rather peculiar and persistent fascination to the literary community. One only has to think of the Lewis Carroll’s Lobster Quadrille, also known as The Mock Turtle’s Song,  a song recited by the Mock Turtle in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Or the classic scene in the 1977 Woody Allen film Annie Hall, where the lobsters run amok as the two main characters try to cook them. Or the modern dark comedy Lobster which imagines a future in which people must find romantic partners or be turned into animals – no points for guessing the protagonist’s choice.

After much deliberation, we plumped for both Lord Byron and the very popular Elizabeth Gilbert – Lord Byron because his is a truly a literary food moment, and Elizabeth Gilbert’s lobster reference simply as a foil to Byron’s assumptions regarding the feminine.

A woman should never be seen eating or drinking, unless it be lobster salad and Champagne, the only true feminine and becoming viands.
― Lord Byron

I have never created anything in my life that did not make me feel, at some point or another, like I was the guy who just walked into a fancy ball wearing a homemade lobster costume.
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear