Lobster Newberg

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Lobster Newburg
Lobster Newburg
Place of originUnited States
Main ingredientsLobster

Lobster Newberg (also spelled lobster Newburg or lobster Newburgh) is an American seafood dish made from lobster, butter, cream, cognac, sherry and eggs,[1] with a secret ingredient found to be Cayenne pepper.[2] A modern legend with no primary or early sources states that the dish was invented by Ben Wenberg, a sea captain in the fruit trade. He was said to have demonstrated the dish at Delmonico's Restaurant in New York City to the manager, Charles Delmonico, in 1876. After refinements by the chef, Charles Ranhofer, the creation was added to the restaurant's menu as Lobster à la Wenberg and it soon became very popular.[2]

The legend says that an argument between Wenberg and Charles Delmonico caused the dish to be removed from the menu. To satisfy patrons’ continued requests for it, the name was rendered in anagram as Lobster à la Newberg or Lobster Newberg.[2]

However, as culinary historian Jan Whitaker has written, lobster Newberg is merely the addition of lobster to a French-inspired sauce of a type already common in 1870s American cuisine. No clear process of invention took place. Early mentions of the dish in American periodicals spell it both "Newberg" and "Newburg[3]," without referring to any specific person or location for which it had been named. Among the many surviving Delmonico's menus from the late nineteenth century, none include a dish described as "Lobster Wenberg."[4]

It is still quite popular and is found in French cookbooks.[5] When Ranhofer's printed recipe first appeared in 1894, the lobsters were boiled fully 25 minutes, then fried in clarified butter, then simmered in cream while it reduced by half, then brought again to the boil after the addition of Madeira.[6]

Similar dishes[edit]

Lobster Newberg is related to lobster Thermidor, a similar dish, first appearing in the 1890s, that involves lobster meat cooked with eggs, cognac, and sherry.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Parloa, Maria (1887). Ms. Parloa's Kitchen Companion. Boston MA (USA): The Clover Publishing Co., Estes & Lauriat. p. 225. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  2. ^ a b c O'Connell, Joe (November 30, 2003). "The unusual story of Lobster Newberg". steakperfection.com. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  3. ^ "28 Sep 1885, 4 - The Buffalo Commercial at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2021-07-08.
  4. ^ "Who invented … lobster Newberg?". Restaurant-ing through history. 2010-04-19. Retrieved 2021-07-08.
  5. ^ Montagné, Prosper (1961). Larousse gastronomique: the encyclopedia of food, wine & cookery. New York, NY (USA): Crown Publishers. p. 595. ISBN 9780517503331.
  6. ^ Ranhofer, Charles (1894). The Epicurean. New York, NY (USA): Charles Ranhofer. p. 411. Retrieved 25 June 2012.


  • Mariani, John F. Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, 1999. New York: Lebhar-Friedman. Pages 187–8.
  • Townsend, Elisabeth. Lobster: A Global History. (2011). London: Reaktion Books. 57–58.