Today we're celebrating an American classic, with a crustacean twist - September 25 is National Crab Newberg Day (oftentimes seen spelled as Newburg).
The history of this dish is fascinating: The tale goes that boat captain Ben Wenberg, a fruit trader between Cuba and New York, had a hand in Lobster Newberg, the original Newberg dish. It's said that on his travels, Mr. Wenberg learned of a new way to cook lobster, and when he returned to his favorite restaurant in New York City, Delmonico's, he taught owner Charles Delmonico the preparation. Delmonico was so impressed he named the dish "Lobster à la Wenberg."
Fast forward a few months, and Wenberg and Delmonico have a falling out. No one is sure what the spat was over, but it resulted in Wenberg's namesake dish being removed from the menu. Since so many diners still kept asking for the dish, Delmonico obliged, but with a caveat - the dish would now be called "Lobster à la Newberg" (an anagram of Wenberg).
So, what's in lobster/crab Newberg anyway? The original recipe involved lobster prepared with a sauce of sweet cream, unsalted butter, French cognac, dry Spanish sherry and cayenne pepper. The dish is served over toast points or in pastry shells.
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