These are the internet finds that I love. Here’s an article that demonstrates how scientists are tracing the availability of species through the use of menus found in history.
It also gives a fairly interesting history of Lobster in America.
From the article:
A study of the cost of seafood on more than 200,000 American restaurant menus has revealed fluctuating prices that reflect the changing abundance of dozens of species over the past 150 years. The records show how the price, adjusted for inflation, of fish and shellfish, including lobster, swordfish, oysters, halibut, haddock and sole, has climbed as stocks have collapsed.
Lobster, for example, fetched little more than a couple of dollars a lb in the 1850s. “Prior to the 1880s, it was unusual to see lobster on menus at all except in bargain-priced lobster salad,ˮ said Glenn Jones, of Texas A&M University, who led the research.
“It was considered a trash fish â€” it was not something you’d want to be seen eating. In colonial America servants negotiated agreements that they would not be forced to eat lobster more than twice a week.ˮ
I find information such as this fascinating. If you’re big into Food History, this article is a good read.