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The Origins of Surf & Turf December 30, 2019

Harlem, Manhattan
The Origins of Surf & Turf, Manhattan, New York

Surf and turf is a dish that pairs a succulent cut of beef with delectable seafood, usually lobster. While this dish is now commonplace at steakhouses all over the U.S., it wasn’t always so. While its origins are shrouded in mystery, there is no denying the appeal of the classic steak and seafood pairing.

Who Invented Surf & Turf?

Surprisingly, there is no definitive inventor of this dish. Restauranteurs on both coasts claim to have come up with the combination of beef and seafood on their own, but there is no real proof that one establishment was first in serving it. What is known is that steak and seafood served together was quite popular during the 1960s.

At the time, steak was considered a luxury that few could afford. When combined with the relatively inexpensive seafood, a steak dinner was far more attainable to working-class people. It wasn’t uncommon for a couple to celebrate a new promotion or their anniversary with a steak and seafood dinner. This accessibility also combined with the public’s burgeoning interest of more “sophisticated” foods, which included lobsters. 

What Is the Difference Between Maine & South African Lobsters?

surf and turfAmidst the surf and turf boom was a struggle between lobster purveyors locally and abroad. For some time, the U.S. had been privy to South African lobsters, which were far less expensive than lobsters derived from Maine. These so-called rock lobsters were thought to be of lesser quality, but they also offered more tail meat and were easier for diners to eat. 

Maine lobsters, on the other hand, have meat in the tail, claws, and elsewhere in the body. Maine lobster meat is also thought to be sweeter with a more pleasant taste by many diners. These days, both types of lobsters are served alongside steak for a delicious and filling surf and turf dish.

 

 

If you’re craving steak and seafood in Harlem, Manhattan, Lolo's Seafood Shack has delicious surf and turf dishes. Combining Caribbean fare with fresh and tasty seafood straight from New England, this establishment features a menu of delicate items. Start with smoked chicken wings for an appetizer, then move on to a shrimp steam pot or crispy shark bake. Check out their full menu online or call (646) 649-3356 to make a reservation. 

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