How and Why You Should Eat Lobster for Thanksgiving

By F&W Editors Posted November 09, 2015

Lobster for Thanksgiving sounds outlandish, but it might be just as historically appropriate as turkey.

We know little for sure about the first Thanksgiving, save what we can gather from a letter by Plymouth Colony leader Edward Winslow dated 1621. Winslow describes a feast of fowl snared by the colonists and venison caught by the local Native American tribe. He goes on to write that the bay is full of lobsters, eels and mussels, leading culinary historians to believe that the first Thanksgiving would have included not only duck, goose, venison and wild turkey—but also an array of shellfish.

With Maine’s near record-breaking lobster season coming to a close, 2015 is the perfect year to start a new tradition. While the pilgrims would have probably just boiled the lobsters, we have a few ideas that are more worthy of the holiday. Here, six excellent Thanksgiving lobster recipes:

1. Pumpkin Soup with Creole Lobster 
This pumpkin soup is topped with lobster bathed in a spicy butter. The natural brininess of the lobster helps bring out all the deep, earthy flavor in the soup.

Food & Wine:

2. Steamed Lobsters with Seared Wild Mushrooms 
Garlicky mushrooms are delicious with sweet lobster.

3. Roasted Lobsters with Verjus and Tarragon 
Verjus, a cooking liquid pressed from unripe grapes, is a staple of classic French cooking; chefs love it today for its pleasant tang, which is much milder than vinegar. It’s used two ways here: to help baste the lobster as it roasts and to brighten a vinaigrette served over the sweet meat.

Food & Wine:

4. Lobster with Nutmeg Vinaigrette and Chestnut Puree 
The seasonal flavors of nutmeg and chestnut are delicious with simple steamed lobster served in its shell.

5. Mini Brioche Lobster Rolls 
These rolls, which are a delightful play on the traditional lobster roll, are perfect Thanksgiving hors d’oeuvres.

Food & Wine:

6. Lobster and Sweet Corn Soup 
This silky soup includes big chunks of tender steamed lobster meat.

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