Oysters Rockefeller
How A Shortage Of Snails Caused The Creation
Of Oysters Rockefeller
By Elias Nash
The perception that snails are a typical French dinner may have originated in Russia after Tsar Alexander visited France in 1814 and was treated to a celebratory meal of escargot in the Burgundy style. This method involves cooking snails with garlic, butter, and a parsley sauce that resembles sauce served on Oysters Rockefeller, and it's no coincidence.
In 1899, cooking oysters was somewhat revolutionary, as the mollusks are typically served raw. Jules Alciatore, then owner of the New Orleans Antoine's, broke the mold, as he chose oysters as a substitute for snail meat to make escargot when oysters were locally available during a snail shortage, making Oysters Rockefeller the signature dish of Antoine's.
Oysters Rockefeller is named after John D. Rockefeller because ‌Rockefeller was at the peak of his power at that time. The name alludes to the tycoon's enormous wealth, but it has a double meaning because they are served with a green sauce—"green" is a slang term for American dollars—and the dish’s large amount of butter makes
it rich, just like a billionaire.