What Kind of Lobster Are You Cracking Into?
Lobsters: fat, red, little monsters of the sea. When we American diners think of lobsters, our mouths start to water as we dream of sweet, tender meat, salty drawn butter, and that satisfying first crack of the shell as we attack our lobster dinner. But do you know what kind of lobster is on your plate? Which type of lobster gives you the most magnificent meal for your money?
How do you know you are getting real Maine lobster, Homarus americanus; or is it another species of the lobster-like slipper, langoustine or rock lobster (you know, the ones that don’t have claws)? Rock lobster, spiny lobster and crawfish all derive from species of the Palinuridae family.
Can you spot an “impostor lobster” roll from a great one? Is it lobster meat or something else? In December of 2015, eight sushi restaurants in San Diego were caught “red-handed” for seafood fraud. They served “lobster” rolls that didn’t have any lobster in them. Instead of lobster, customers were served various types of less expensive seafood like crawfish or Pollock. In another bait and switch, Nathan’s in Coney Island, New York, substituted whiting–an inexpensive fish–for lobster meat. Did you know you can have have shipped to you.
How to Avoid Fake Lobster
At restaurants, beware what the menu claims to be “lobster”. A lobster by any other name may not be the most-desired Maine lobster. Lately, you may be coming across the term Langostino lobster. Langostino is Spanish for prawn, but refers to the meat of a squat lobster, which is not a Maine lobster, or even a prawn, but rather a form of crab.
In many cases, dishes like lobster burritos, lobster bites, and lobster tacos are actually made of Fake Lobster. They usually contain meat that isn’t lobster at all.
The Maine lobster industry is steamed. Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine has said of Langostino lobster: “Permitting this inferior product to be improperly marketed as ‘lobster’ not only pollutes consumers’ appetite for real lobster, but it also exposes consumers who suffer from certain allergies to potentially life-threatening allergic reactions.” But what it really boils down to is taste. And Maine lobster tastes the best.
If you seek the authentic taste of Maine lobster universally sought for their superb flavor ask your server what kind of lobster is served in their lobster dishes. It may not always be what you expect. The lobsters harvested off the coast of California and along the Southern coasts of the U.S. are called spiny or rock lobsters. They are not as big and meaty as Maine lobsters and are sold primarily as cooked frozen lobster tails.
Elsewhere in the world, you’ll find European Lobster, a delicacy to the French and Dutch for hundreds of years, as well as Australian Lobster, Caribbean Lobster, and even Japanese Lobster. However, Maine Lobster is so adored for its sweet, savory meat that it is shipped all over the globe.
Real Maine Lobsters
So where can one obtain the most prized lobsters in the world? Although they are called Maine lobsters, fishermen net this juicy catch all along the northeastern seaboard. Maine lobsters are caught here in the United States from the coast of Canada down as far as South Carolina. The cold, shallow North Atlantic waters off the coast of Maine, Massachusetts, New Brunswick, Novia Scotia, and Prince Edward Island offer lobsters a rocky terrain perfect for breeding, scavenging, and hiding from predators. Still, the most popular place for this most coveted lobster is its namesake. Almost half of all lobsters consumed in the United States are caught directly off the coast of Maine.
Lobsters grow by molting a few times a year, shedding their old shell and growing into a new one. Hard-shell Maine lobsters, lobsters that have fully grown into their shell, are the sturdiest and meatiest lobsters. The meat of a hard-shell Maine lobster is tender, sweet, and can be grilled, broiled, sauted, or even fried. A dip in drawn butter enhances the sweetness and juiciness of the already succulent meat.
Famous Maine Lobster Dishes
Lobster meat is found mixed with mayonnaise in lobster rolls, skewered and grilled along with fresh vegetables, or just eaten right out of the shell with the aid of some crackers, and small fork, and a bib to keep your shirt clean. Famous lobster-based recipes include Lobster Newburg, a mixture of lobster, butter, cream, cognac, eggs, and sherry. Lobster Thermidor is a creamy, cheesy mixture of lobster meat and other rich ingredients.
Year-Round Maine Lobster Delivery
LobstersAnywhere.com ships live Maine lobster and meaty lobster tails anywhere in the U.S. Sophisticated lobster delivery techniques and an extremely high quality selection of live lobster and frozen lobster tails means you can enjoy the world’s most prized species of lobster anywhere in the U.S. You don’t have to live in Maine to enjoy Maine lobster, the finest, most delectable lobster you can buy.