Delicious and decadent, Lobster Thermidor is a dish that offers an absolutely perfect reason to celebrate! When the lobster is removed from the shell and cooked in a cream sauce, then returned to the shell, sprinkled with cheese and broiled until golden, the result is something close to divine.
National Lobster Thermidor Day is here to show appreciation for this mouth watering seafood creation that is ideal for a special occasion!
History of National Lobster Thermidor Day
Some people may only have heard of Lobster Thermidor because of the pop culture reference in the animated film, The Lego Batman Movie, where the title character attempts to put a plate of it in the microwave. Obviously, Lobster Thermidor comes with a much richer and more decadent history than a superhero made of Lego can really understand!
Lobster is a seafood delicacy that has gradually become more difficult to source and therefore has become even more rare and, unfortunately, has gotten more expensive as time has passed. The high demand for this beloved seafood is understandable because of its unique and decadent taste and it still makes an amazing featured dish for a special night out.
The origins of this French dish likely came from a cafe in Paris by the name of Café de Paris by a chef named Leopold Mourier. Another origin story, however, shows Lobster Thermidor’s creation at Chez Marie. In either case, the year of its occurrence seems to be in 1894, just a few years after the famed Eiffel Tower of Paris was finished.
While there are a few stories about where the dish came from, the name for the dish may have been gleaned from a play by Victorien Sardou. This play, called simply Thermidor, took place in 1891 and it’s possible that the restaurant where Lobster Thermidor was created was located near the theater.
After its creation, it didn’t take very long for Lobster Thermidor to travel on its way from Paris over the Atlantic Ocean to the United States. On the east coast, where lobster would have been fairly easy to source at the time, it seems that Lobster Thermidor arrived in the states around 1907 and it became more common on restaurant menus during the first half of the 20th century.
Now, National Lobster Thermidor Day is here to show appreciation for the creators of this dish that has been enjoyed for more than 100 years and will hopefully continue on far into the future!
How to Celebrate National Lobster Thermidor Day
Consider some of these ways to enjoy and celebrate National Lobster Thermidor Day:
Dine Out and Enjoy Lobster Thermidor
Invite that special someone out for an exquisite meal, or gather a few friends and family members and fill up a large table! As a rather unique seafood dish, Lobster Thermidor is typically only served at rather high-end, exclusive restaurants. The expense comes from the cost of the lobster, as well as the fussiness of the preparation.
So in order to celebrate National Lobster Thermidor Day at one of these excellent establishments, it might be necessary to make a reservation for a table somewhat in advance – and perhaps let them know that you are planning to order the Lobster Thermidor in celebration of the day!
Try Making Lobster Thermidor at Home
While it’s probably not meant for those who are new to the kitchen, attempting to make Lobster Thermidor at home can be an incredible way to celebrate National Lobster Thermidor Day without having to go out to a fancy restaurant. This dish will require some preparation time, particularly to make sure that the lobster is sourced fresh and cooked properly. But anyone with access to the internet can get all of the tips and tricks needed to make this dish a winner!
Watch Shows and Films About Cooking
Due to its association with Julia Child and other French chefs, it might be fun to spend some time on National Lobster Thermidor Day watching some cooking shows featuring this and other seafood dishes that hail from France.
Or, for those who would like to enjoy a little bit of cooking-inspired entertainment in honor of the day, perhaps a viewing of one of these films would be appropriate and fun:
- Julie & Julia (2009). Starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, this story is based on the true story of the experiences of writer Julie Powell.
- The Hundred Foot Journey (2014). More cooking in France is revealed in this movie that tells the story of a family who moves their Indian restaurant across the street from a Michelin-star eatery.
- Delicious (2021). Set in France not long before the time when Lobster Thermidor may have been created, this historical comedy is about a gifted chef and his protégé who are working to become free.
- Haute Cuisine (2012). A French comedy (watch with subtitles!) is based on the true story of a woman who was appointed as the private chef for François Mitterrand, who was the president of France from 1981-1995. Watch for the parts of the movie that were actually filmed at the Élysée Palace, which is the official residence of the president of the French Republic.
Learn More About Lobster Thermidor
Lobster Thermidor comes with an interesting history that goes back more than 100 years, starting in Paris. In honor of National Lobster Thermidor Day, share these fun facts with friends to raise awareness and share in the joy
One story reveals that this dish may have been created for Napoleon himself. However, this would put the timeline of the creation of Lobster Thermidor significantly earlier than other stories, so it’s hard to know if this is simply a legend.
In the 1800s, Thermidor was the name of the month that fell from July 19 through August 17, and some people believe this is the reason for the name of the dish, Lobster Thermidor.
The creamy sauce that the lobster is cooked in is typically made up of white wine, fish stock, a special Meaux mustard, and spices such as black pepper and dried fennel.