Lobster, or Lob-stah in the Maine accent, is our state food. You think of lobster, you think of Maine. I’m talking about the large red shelled beasts that look great on a plate with an ear of corn, small pile of steamers, and some boiled potatoes. A perfect Maine Lobster Bake.
We also have lobster “rolls” that we’ve mentioned before. Ahh, the chunks of lobster meat. Maybe a touch of butter, or a dollop of mayo. Life truly doesn’t get any better.
“Where does one to get lobster” you ask? Just about anywhere. Almost every restaurant, including Chinese take-out and Mexican fare, have lobster on the menu. This is Maine after all.
If you want the full experience, find a lobster pound/shack, overlooking the water. Five Islands Lobster Company in Georgetown is a perfect example. But really, a lobster is a lobster. They’ll taste the same from almost anywhere you can buy it. (Hmm, hang on. There is a difference. I’ll get back to that in a second.)
Lobster Rolls on the other hand are quite different. Some use butter. Some use mayo. Some stick this green stuff called lettuce on the roll. Our favorites… in Portland, head to the Portland Lobster Company on Commercial Street. Or head down the coast 20 minutes to the Lobster Shack at Two Lights for a great view of the Atlantic. Or if size matters to you, head up east to Wiscasset and stop at Red’s Eats for the largest lobster roll I’ve had in the state.
You’ll definitely run into a lot of tourists at these locations, and you’ll probably need to stand in line during the summer months. (I’ve stood in line over an hour at Red’s!) Where are the locals? We’re at home steaming up lobsters for only $5 per pound. Really! Why would we pay $20 for someone to cook a $7 1 1/2 pound lobster!
Ahh, so that rental you’re staying at comes with a lobster pot you’ve been eyeing! Now we’re talking. Head down to the local lobster pound and pick youself up a few 1 1/2 lb lobsters. 2 lobsters per person makes memories! Don’t worry about how to cook them. Just ask the person you’re buying the lobster from. It’s too simple. Trust me.
The question you’ll be asked, depending on the time of ear, is “soft shell” or “hard shell”. “Soft shell” means the lobster shed its old hard shell and is sporting it’s new softer shell. It also means it has to grow into it’s new shell, so you won’t get as much meat out of a “soft shell” lobster as you will with a “hard shell” lobster who has filled up it’s shell.
Which is better? It’s a very old debate. We put it to the test ourselves last year and purchased a few of each. I have to say the soft shelled lobsters, though less meat, were sweeter. The hard shell had definitely more meat, though tougher to chew. To each his/her own opinion. In the end, you’ll get more meat for your money with the hard shell.