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A lobster prepared à l'américaine is sautéed and then briefly cooked in white wine, brandy and olive oil with tomatoes, shallots and garlic.

There is a long-standing and ultimately irresolvable controversy over whether the method should really be termed à l'américaine. There is an alternative school which maintains that à l'armoricaine, ‘in the style of Armorica’ is the authentic appellation. Armorica is the ancient name for Brittany, which would be an appropriate home for a lobster recipe. But the French gastronome Curnonsky (1872–1956) claimed to have had from the horse's mouth the story of its creation, which supports the ‘American’ name. Apparently it was invented in the 1860s by a chef called Pierre Fraisse, when faced with a party of late guests and only lobsters and the above-mentioned accompaniments at hand. This Fraisse had previously worked for some time as a chef in Chicago, and had even anglicized his name to Peters—hence à l'américaine.

Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink — Medicine and Health.

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