A couple weeks ago I wrote about how preparing and eating food as if we were in need, is now the height of luxury. This is because the biggest luxury in the modern world is time.
Russian peasants used to feed caviar to their pigs to fatten them up, or put a dollop on their porridge for a burst of brine.
Nowadays, this food is a delicacy. People even use mother of pearl spoons so not to tarnish the flavor with metallic objects.
This crustacean was much more prevalent in numbers long ago. After storms, locals would rake them up by the bushelful along the shore. The meat was used as fertilizer, prison food and meals for servants.
The Food Network made stars of pit masters, and made a millionaire of TV chef Bobby Flay. Brisket was once a budget cut of meat, but now sells for $34 a pound at Austin's famous Franklin Barbecue, where customers wait in line for hours.
In the American South, barbecue used to be a treatment for poor cuts of meat, and to cover up the flavor if the meat was starting to turn. Enslaved people were in charge of the labor involved. After Emancipation, white Southerners would seek meals created by the best pit masters - many of whom opened their own restaurants.