So, as the waiter at the Hotel Christopher on St. Barths explained the evening's specials last week, the langouste, which he translated for us as "lobster," caught my attention. Recalling my travails with French in high school and college, I vaguely remembered that Jean-Paul Sartre writing of a hallucination in which he fled an "homard." The different word for lobster led to the obvious question: "What's the difference?"
Christian Langlade, who owns Hotel Christopher with his wife, Sandrine, explained that homard" refers to the tasty resident of northern waters, the creature I cracked open throughout my childhood – and which tormented the French existentialist. "Langouste," however, is the lobster found in the Caribbean, sans claws yet certainly delightful to chomp.
Disclosure: Hotel Christopher picked up the tab for this trip. Nonetheless, my opinions are my own – they're certainly not for sale at any price.