National Lobster Thermidor Day Date in the current year: January 24, 2024

National Lobster Thermidor Day If you love French cuisine, you should celebrate National Lobster Thermidor Day on January 24. It is dedicated to a delicious lobster dish that is usually saved for special occasions because it consists of expensive ingredients and requires extensive preparation.

Lobster Thermidor is made by cooking lobster meat in a rich creamy sauce, stuffing it back into a lobster shell, sprinkling the lobster meat with shredded cheese (typically Gruyère), and broiling the whole thing until golden or even brown. The sauce is typically made with egg yolks and Cognac or another type of brandy; it originally contained mustard.

The name of the dish was inspired by the French Revolution. In 1793, the French government implemented the French Republican calendar. One of its months was named Thermidor (from Greek thermon, summer heat); it started on July 19 or 20 and ended on August 17 or 18.

On Thermidor 9, Year II of the French Republic (or July 27, 1794), Maximilien Robespierre, one of the leaders of the French Revolution, was overthrown in a coup. His ousting marked the beginning of the period in French history known as the Thermidorian Reaction. 

This episode of the French Revolution inspired Victorien Sardou to write a play named Thermidor that opened in the Comédie-Française theater in Paris in 1891. The recipe for lobster Thermidor was allegedly developed in 1894 in one of the restaurants near the theater, and the dish was named after the highly controversial play that was even closed by the authorities at one point. Although it is unclear which of the Parisian restaurants invented lobster Thermidor, the restaurant credited with popularizing the dish is Maison Maire.

Lobster Thermidor made its way to the United States sometime in the beginning of the 20th century. The dish quickly became a popular item on restaurant menus on the east coast because lobster was fairly easy to source there at the time. Today, lobsters are more expensive and harder to get, so lobster Thermidor is typically served at high-end restaurants and saved for special occasions. National Lobster Thermidor, celebrated annually on January 24, can be one of such occasions!

The origins of National Lobster Thermidor Day are unclear, and its date doesn’t make much sense either (wouldn’t it be more logical to celebrate it in July or August, during the month of Thermidor?). However, you shouldn’t let this stop you from celebrating the holiday and indulging in a rich and decadent lobster dish. 

Of course, the best way to celebrate National Lobster Thermidor Day is to go out to a restaurant that specializes in French cuisine or seafood and serves lobster Thermidor. You can also try cooking the dish yourself, but we should warn you that it’s a hassle to make. Besides, you need to make sure that the lobster is fresh and all other ingredients are top quality.

Regardless of how you choose to celebrate, don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday on social media using the hashtags #LobsterThermidorDay and #NationalLobsterThermidorDay.

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National Lobster Thermidor Day, unofficial holidays, food days, observances in the US, French cuisine