Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 7:32 PM
Subject: In Search of Lobster Tahitienne
Thank you for maintaining this wonderful web resource all these years;
I have greatly enjoyed all that you have found and contributed.
I wonder if you can help me track down a recipe for a dish called
Lobster Tahitienne, which I have only encountered at the Mai-Kai
Polynesian tiki palace in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Mai-Kai's menu
describes Lobster Tahitienne as "a 1-1/4 lb. Maine lobster, removed
from the shell, sautéed in butter and a delicate herb sauce, laced
with sherry & Dijon mustard." It appears the lobster meat is then
placed back into the bisected shell from which it came before baking;
I say this primarily because the remarkably-thick sauce browns slightly
I look forward to hearing your findings, whatever they may be.
I had no success finding Mai-Kai’s actual recipe or a copycat for their
“Lobster Tahitienne.” Their menu is here: Mai-Kai Menu
However, I found a review of Mai-Kai here: The Tiki Chick
That review says this:
That mid-century Continental classic Lobster Thermidor, here listed under
the more theme-appropriate pseudonym Lobster Tahitienne ($37), is just
something you don’t find on menus since diners started caring about things
like calories and cholesterol. It’s pure indulgence: more than a pound of
lobster sauteed in butter and served in its shell with a creamy sauce with
sherry and Dijon mustard.
So, if that reviewer is correct, then “Lobster Tahitienne” is just a version
of “Lobster Thermidor”, which is an old classic French recipe. Makes sense,
because Tahiti is part of French Polynesia.
The recipe for classic “Lobster Thermidor is here: How to Cook Lobster Thermidor
The Mai-Kai menu doesn’t mention the cheese, but I saw Parmesan, Gruyere,
or Swiss used in various thermidor recipes. Not all of the thermidor recipes
call for sherry by name, many just say “white wine.” Some thermidor recipes
call for Dijon mustard, some say “spicy mustard," a few just say mustard.
The spices and herbs vary from recipe to recipe.
I could not narrow down the Mai-Kai recipe any more than this.
I apologize for the late response. Thank you very much for your work in regard to this recipe.
The Lobster Thermidor variation for which you included that link sounds remarkably similar to
the dish I enjoyed in Fort Lauderdale. I shall let you know the results if and when I get
around to playing with it; all I need is an occasion befitting lobster.
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 3:16 PM
Subject: Fig jam
A friend was telling me about a recipe that used strawberry jam in making
fig jam. She made this 50 years ago.
If you can find this, it will be most appreciated
Sorry, I cannot find any mention of making fig jam from strawberry jam.
However there are recipes for making jam from figs that tastes like
See: Mock Strawberry Fig Jam
Sent: Thursday, July 13, 2017 2:27 PM
Subject: Mouth Feel
My question is perhaps a little too esoteric. It has to do with the common
product "Trisquits." I see that the "original" uses either soybean or canola
oil when I ask for ingredients of the "original," but that's now. "Trisquits"
have been made a long time--longer than I've been on Earth--but my recall of
about fifty years ago is that they seemed more succulent, but the oils of
soybean and canola plant were hardly to be seen. This flavor memory might
be just my decline of taste sense with age, but _maybe_ they used then
another fat, one with a richer mouth feel, if such is possible. Might I
whisper, "animal fat"? Does the whisper lead anywhere?
I found info about Triscuits on Wikipedia, which was corroborated by other
As you say, they are advertised as having only three ingredients: Whole
Grain Wheat, Vegetable Oil (Soybean Or Canola Oil), Sea Salt
Nabisco began producing Triscuit in 1903 in Niagara Falls, New York. They
were originally made with just wheat, first cooked in water, then formed and
baked. No additional ingredients at all.
In 1935, producers began spraying the crackers with oil and adding salt to
improve the taste. Rapeseed (Canola) oil has been around for centuries, but
did not come to be used in food until the 1970s. Soybean oil has been in food
use much longer, since 1909 at least (in the U.S.), but not in general use
until the 1940s. However, the problems associated with spraying lard makes
me think that some vegetable oil, rather than lard or other animal fats, was
what Nabisco used in 1935. I could not find anything specific. Maybe corn
oil or olive oil.