Of Lobsters and Men

We take pride in the fact that we have tasted lobsters in various parts of the world. From Australia to Thailand and cruising along to Alaska. Maldives to Vietnam and Japan. Well, had them on the plane too… And it seems that in all of the experiences, we had not consumed lobsters with huge claws.

It appears that there is an abundance of this crustacean in the waters off the state of Massachusetts and indeed the entire coast up to Maine.

So this story is a culinary tour. It is about where we found some of the best places to savor this wonderful bounty of the sea. And we had none other than the privilege of starting from the city of Boston.

This will make you Roll over

Yeah. Did you know that even for fishermen they will sort out the “better looking” lobsters from the less ‘glamorous’ looking ones? Let us explain what we mean. You see, when lobsters are served, they are presented. And presentation means a lobster has to look like one. Not deformed in any way because that might not go well with some folks. Thus the ones with odd looking claws etc are not served on the tables to customers.

What do they do with them? Do they get tossed back into the sea?

Luke lobster1
This one’s popular…

Well….not if they are of a mature size. The lobsters with oddities are stripped of their shell and served in….lobster rolls! Ok not all of it (some are canned) but quite a fair bit of them are served out in the many restaurants and shacks all around the world. So what’s a roll you might ask if not familiar with it. Essentially the folks in New England have evolved to serve nicely cooked lobster on a bed of toast bread. Mmmm…. delish!

So when one is in Boston how can one not pop into one of these places for a serving of these deliciously made delectable? But that said, it has to be pointed out that these are but little morsels that are gobbled down pretty quick. So one might need to supplement it with additional such as a tail, which was arguable cheaper.

Yes you may beg to differ. And of course you can also have them anywhere else in New England or even in NYC, but it had special meaning to us when we said we had Boston lobster rolls…

This is all fine and dandy if one were to be satisfied with having just the rolls. But what if you wanted to dine on a real lobster? It can be rather pricey to order one at a restaurant in the city. So where should one go to and discover,

Wow they are huge and cheap too!

Rockport Roy Moore lobster18
It is very popular!

You’d need to get out of town. And all along Massachusetts there are little towns dotted along the coast where fishing fleets depart to harvest this desired delicacy. Indeed it is strange to know that until 50 years ago, lobsters were not considered to luxurious. Can you imagine now that lobsters were once considered to be food for the lower classes of society? If one looks up Wikipedia, one might get the impression that this “staple” was not desired at all!

Rockport Roy Moore lobster19
And wonderfully affordable too!

Marine workers in Canada actually stipulated in their employment contracts to limit the number of times they are served lobsters to a maximum of twice a week…and what would we give today for that!

In fact, right up to the early 1900s lobsters were considered only for its use as fertilizer or as fish bait. And because it was plentiful, was also served to inmates in jails. Wow! Interesting how things seemed to have turned a sharp corner huh?

And did you know that the older and harder the shell of a lobster they are more expensive? That’s because they can be shipped around the world alive. Ironically these are the ones with the coarsest flavor…So where did we get to for our lobster fix? Why a tiny port town of Rockport. Specifically Bearskin neck. Don’t ask. In any case it is the place where not just a few lobster establishments can be found.

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And we homed in on Roy Moore’s along the long pier that juts out into the bay. Yes they are huge indeed and affordable too! For three “smaller” lobsters set us back $40 and took us nearly an hour to fully devour with a dash (well more than that) of butter oil. Never mind that the seating was outdoor and cramped. Not to mention having to wait for a long time to get a seat! For those who prefer a really large lobster of say more than 2 pounds, the cost is $25 each. Still more palatable price wise compared to restaurants right?

Well Rockport rocks too

Rockport Bearneck skin4
It’s such a beautiful town!

Yes, time to work off the calories and cholesterol from the lobsters! At the end of the wharf is a cul-de-sac where a breakwater extend out into the bay and many walked all the way out. All along this long wharf are lots of specialty shops, cafes and restaurants. It was here where Suan got her shopping fingers pricked again! So you see it is possible to mix food with leisure!

What was intriguing for us though, were the stacks of lobster traps stacked pier side. We did not know that Massachusetts alone has 52 ports in addition to more than 10k private lobster permits. Learn something new each day right? There must be a lot of them out there. We certainly hope that they will not be fished out of existence, for that would surely be a pity not just for nature’s sake, but ours too!

We lobbed them crustaceans into our stomachs in May 2017

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