The Irresistible Appeal of Lobster Mac and Cheese

Reading Time: 3 minutes Back to 3 minutes version

It seems like every few months, new culinary trends emerge that captures the curiosity of foodies around the world. Whether from a cooking show, restaurant, recipe book, youtube video, or whatever it may be, trends catch on and become a part of the culture. Lobster Mac and Cheese, although not a new dish, has exploded in popularity over the past 5-10 years.

According to some, the inception of lobster mac and cheese allegedly took place in an Italian restaurant in New York in the mid 1900’s. Interestingly enough, it is strongly frowned upon in Italian cooking to combine seafood with cheese. Although many regulars at this restaurant were likely outraged at this dish, the appeal of creamy, savory, and cheesy lobster proved to be irresistible.

The Rise of Lobster Mac and Cheese

Lobster mac and cheese took many years to gain the mainstream recognition it now has. In recent years, it has taken on a beloved status as an upgraded and somewhat decadent comfort food. It is now being served in all types of restaurants around the world. From low key grills, cafes, and diners, to sophisticated, upscale restaurants. Many national chains and grocery stores even carry frozen lobster mac and cheese dishes. It has clearly become one of America’s new favorite comfort foods.

The marriage of macaroni and cheese with lobster is a strange one. In many ways, they are diametrically opposed. Lobster is known around the world as the ultimate upscale food with a high price tag, while macaroni and cheese remains eternally as a humble, inexpensive comfort food.

On paper, macaroni doesn’t seem like it would combine well with any type of seafood. Moreover, it is said that combining seafood with cheese produces somewhat of a sour, foul, detestable taste. But despite the opposing social status and fundamentally rejected in some areas of cuisine, it somehow works beautifully. This marriage of extravagant and humble fused together to become a favorite in many areas around the world.

While many Italian chefs reject it, the synergy of lobster with mac and cheese was intriguing enough for millions of people to want to taste it. And once they do, they’re often hooked. Perhaps it is only lobster that can make this dish such a big hit. Trying to imagine shrimp, mussels, or even crab paired with macaroni and cheese just doesn’t produce the same allure.

Oyster Macaroni & Cheese

It is however, acceptable to combine cream-based sauces in many seafood dishes. The first known fusion of cheese and seafood comes from a cookbook published in 1888. It is titled “Oysters à la Mode: The Oyster and Over 100 Ways of Cooking It“. The Sorrento Oyster dish consisted of equal parts oysters and macaroni, with some cayenne spice, butter, cream, and grated Parmesan cheese.

Oyster mac and cheese can still be found in many recipes online and is even served in restaurants. However, this dish never had the appeal that lobster mac and cheese has clearly shown in recent years. In addition, there is no set way making lobster mac and cheese.

The beauty of this dish is that it is highly adaptable depending on individual preferences. From the breading, to the spices, herbs, cheeses, macaroni type, to cooking style. Most restaurants serve backed lobster mac and cheese, but it is a fully adaptable dish as long as it’s not microwaved!

The most important thing is choosing a cheese that compliments the seafood for you. For this dish, some prefer cheeses such as fontina, gruyere, parmesan, cheddar, and even pepper jack. The simplicity and satisfaction are what make this dish the hit that it is. Perhaps it’s the best way to get a fulfilling fix of lobster at under $15.