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Mai-Kai Lobster Tahitienne

From: Andrew  
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 7:32 PM
Subject: In Search of Lobster Tahitienne

Dear Phaed, 

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 
on top.

I look forward to hearing your findings, whatever they may be.

Best regards,


Hello Andrew,

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.


Dear Phaed,

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.

Best regards,


Fig Strawberry Jam

-----Original Message----- 
From: Ayn 
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


Hello Ayn,

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 strawberry jam.

See: Mock Strawberry Fig Jam



-----Original Message----- 
From: Ray
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 sources: Triscuit

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.


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