October 19 is National Seafood Bisque Day.
According to Punchbowl.com, “Seafood bisque is a delightfully rich and creamy soup made with lobster, crab, shrimp, or crayfish. It is often seasoned with wine or cognac and a savory bouquet of spices. In a traditional bisque recipe, the soup is thickened with a fine purée of crustacean shells! Early recipes also occasionally called for pigeon instead of shellfish.”
Bisque always makes me think of Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi, the soup chef who demanded that customers order according to his rules, or he’d refuse them soup.
Bisque is one of the soups highlighted in the Soup Nazi episode. In one scene, Jerry’s girlfriend storms out of the shop after experiencing the Soup Nazi’s wrath, saying, “Come on, Jerry! We’re leaving!” But Jerry stays behind for soup, later justifying his choice by explaining, “It was a bisque.”
Bisque also makes an appearance in another scene, in which George successfully orders crab bisque. It’s his second attempt at getting soup; he had been tossed out earlier for asking for bread with his turkey chili.
Other Soup Nazi menu items included mulligatawny, of which Kramer was a fan, and jumbalaya, Newman’s favorite.
Naturally, Al Yeganeh, the real-life soup restauranteur who inspired the Soup Nazi, is a celebrity now. Yet oddly, the word “Nazi” is nowhere to be found on his website, even though references to the Seinfeld episode abound. Rather, he is called the Original SoupMan. I suppose that’s a more flattering appellation, and better for business too.
Clip from “The Soup Nazi,” Seinfeld (November 2, 1995)