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Maine Lobster Now Blog |

The Tasty World of Scallops

Our Guide to Types and Sizes of Scallops

Here at Maine Lobster Now we have decided to expand our options for the always popular Sea Scallops, and we would like to provide some information about these intricate creatures. Since our start, we have offered the common 10/20 variety of scallops, but as you will see we have also started offering the smaller 20/30 variety along with the always popular jumbo U-10 and U-8.

For those who are unfamiliar with the descriptions of a scallop, they are sorted based on how many would be portioned in one pound. The smallest of these being the 20/30, meaning that is the amount you would find in a one pound portion, and the largest being the U-8, meaning a pound would consist of less than 8 individual scallops. With two major classes of scallops, Bay Scallops and Sea Scallops, grading by size is the easiest way to determine which class a scallop falls into.

The first, Bay Scallops, are caught in shallow waters closer to bays and estuaries and are sweeter but render much less edible meat. With bay scallops you can typically expect close to 100 pieces in a pound and cooking can be much more difficult, although the meat is sweet and tender.

The more common class you will find is the Sea Scallop, which are caught further away from land and have a much larger shell and edible meat, are the variety we offer and are typically preferable for pan searing. Once you have a better understanding of the sizing of scallops there are also several other factors that help distinguish these delicious bivalve mollusks.

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The first scallop we will describe is the highly sought after Diver Scallop or Dayboat Scallop, which is named for the method in which they are caught. These are fished in season by hand from November to April. Many vendors will advertise their product as diver scallops, but with no real way of verifying the method used to catch this is often misleading.

Diver Scallops are commonly thought to be more ecologically friendly because the individuals picking them can be more selective and limit catch to the larger, more mature mollusks. This can be exponentially more time consuming and can cause the price of these items to be much higher than the conventional method of dragging.

The term Dayboat Scallops refers to the length of the fishing trip and to be categorized as a Dayboat Scallop the boat used to fish must return within 24 hours of departing. This increases the freshness of the scallops since they are not stored on the boat for as long as the more common scallop fishing trips.

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Along with size and method of catching scallops the last major distinction for these delicious mollusks is whether they are dry or wet. These two terms refer to the method in which the scallops are handled and sold. Wet scallops are treated with and soaked in phosphates which add water weight, whereas their counterparts are not treated with this same liquid.

The process of soaking the scallops in that phosphate mixture is advantageous for the processor by lowering costs and the increased water weight allows them to charge more. We at Maine Lobster Now only sell dry scallops and the difference in taste is substantial. Wet scallops are typically tougher and less-flavorful with the excess liquid often causing a soapy taste and smaller final product. The dry scallops we offer will have a sweet and natural taste with a much better caramelization and full flavored final product.

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Scallops are an extremely intricate creature with features that make them unique from most animals in the Mollusk family. They are one of very few Bivalve Mollusks that are free-living, meaning they typically do not remain entirely stationary. Although they primarily remain in the same location, either cemented to rocky substrates or attached to sea grass, they can swim short distances through propulsion by clamping down rapidly on their shell.

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This clamping motion is made possible by the abductor muscle which is actually the part of the scallop eaten. This self-propulsion is usually done when they feel a threat and the ability to sense these threats is through a ring of simple eyes located along the edge of their mantles. Another interesting characteristic is the filament they extend called a byssal thread which allows them to attach to a fixed object. These appendage like features are what this creature uses to root itself to sea grass or other fixed points where they can seek solitude when not free roaming. Some scallops also have two sides with different shades which they can flip to camouflage themselves and appear less visible to predators, the most predominant of which are stingrays.

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The Life of the Mother Lobster

Lobster-Photo-by-Meredith

male & female lobster difference

When most people see a lobster, they don’t know if it is a male or female unless they’re lobster experts or simply familiar with how to distinguish between the two. There are a few noticeable differences from a female Lobster to a male lobster. A female lobsters tail is larger than a males because the female must carry all of the eggs, which believe it or not, can sometimes be up-to 100,000 eggs if the female lobster is around 8-10lbs! On average a female lobster carries roughly 7,500-10,000 eggs. Another way to distinguish between the two is look under the tail where the feeders are located. A females feeders are soft and crossed where a males feeders are hard and touched together facing forward.

When a female lobster is born, it takes about a full year for the lobster to grow into its “adult” size. Once a female lobster has reached its adult size, it begins the process of finding a mate. Finding a male lobster to mate with is very different than how your mom may have met your dad or vice versa. Although, that would be a very interesting connection between humans and lobsters if that was the case.

Lobster Shedding Shell

Shell Shedding Process

A female lobster can only become pregnant during certain times of her life. These times are when she has shed her old shell & is beginning the process of growing into her new firm shell. When this time comes, the sequence of finding a male is quite interesting.  We all know it is the male that chases a women when you think of how humans typically meet each other. As mentioned above, this is not the case with lobsters, although male lobsters do fight over the female, which we all know, tends to happen sometimes with humans as well. With that said, females are the players, the females are the seekers, although they do not call the shots to which male they want/get to mate with.

A female lobster, in its fertile state, will release a pheromone into the water which will attract male lobsters. Once the males have caught onto the scent they will begin venturing to the female. As male lobsters come across each other’s paths they will begin to fight, locking their claws together basically attempting to crush the other lobsters claw until the alfa male triumphs over the weaker male lobsters. This is what some may think is a group of lobsters at the bottom of the ocean, a travelling pack of lobsters in a formal line 1 after the other migrating to a new location or something but what is really going on is the male lobsters are all locked together basically trying to kill one another to get to the fertile female lobster’s location. This chain of fighting lobsters can last multiple days at times but eventually one male lobster will over power the rest and THAT is the lobster the female will mate with along with any other fertile females to come. When I say more females, I do mean it. The alfa male distinguishes himself as the best fit lobster to mate with leaving all others left to simply continue to grow until they, someday may be able to be the alfa male themselves, potentially in a different area of water. One could say, male lobsters are very “shellfish”  when it comes to female lobsters!

Once the female has found its mate, they begin to the process of reproduction. Once this has been completed the male & female lobster will seek a safe place where the male will stand guard and protect the female for roughly 10-14 days until the female lobsters’ shell has become safe enough for her to go out on her own. Once this day comes, the female lobster simply leaves and carries on with her life while a new female lobster comes in to mate with the alfa male.

The female, soon to be mother lobster will not begin to see any eggs under her tail for up-to 9-12 months. Once the eggs begin to show, they look like a bunch of small little berries under the female lobsters’ tail. A female lobster can lose up to 50% off her eggs during the incubation period due to disease, parasites, predation, or by fishermen repeatedly catching, handling and releasing them because pregnant lobsters are completely illegal to catch and sell. When a pregnant lobster with eggs is caught by a fishermen it is a state law to “V” notch the lobster(s) and return them into the ocean to help support sustainability and survival of the lobster species. A nick name for a female lobster with eggs is a “V” notched lobster. Catching and selling a “V” notched lobster with or without eggs is punishable with large fines if harvested and sold in the state of Maine.

Pregnant Female Lobster

Pregnant “V” notch female lobster

The female lobster will carry these babies for approximately 15 months before she releases them. It can take up to 15 months simply due to the mother lobster trying to find a safe place to release her babies (which to be honest, there is not really a safe place for a female lobster to release her eggs). I say there really isn’t a safe place to release the eggs because, once the eggs are released, they’re too light to stay on the bottom of the ocean, naturally they all float to the top. At this point, every day, every week counts. This is a crucial time for the newly born lobsters. With them gradually sinking to the bottom of the ocean as their weight increases, any fish can simply end their life that is swimming through. This is why the mother lobster can take such a long time finding the “safest” location to release her eggs. The longer the baby lobsters stay alive, avoiding fish and any other predators the deeper they sink to the bottom, increasing their chance of survival, and carrying on a long protected life at the bottom of the ocean. On average, due to the lobster breeding process, roughly only 10% off each female lobsters’ eggs make it out alive and can successfully grow at the bottom of the ocean where they can find suitable protection in rocky ocean areas.

Here is an incredible video of a female lobster finding warm waters, to begin releasing her lobster eggs. Lobster video:

I hope this blog helped you better understand the life of a Female, Mother lobster. Thank you for reading!

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‘You’re My Lobster’ – The Connection between Lobsters and Love

Valentine’s Day is commonly celebrated as a romantic occasion for couples to express their love for each other. With its origins in ancient Rome and many ideas on the exact nature of this holiday it can not be determined what started this yearly celebration. Stories vary from romantic tales of a man named Valentine who was imprisoned and fell in love with a jailor’s daughter, to a priest who performed marriages against the emperor’s decree banning marriage to optimize the strength of his army. Although the exact origins of the holiday are not certain all stories behind it share the common theme of love triumphing over uncertain and difficult circumstances. All of these stories would explain the celebration of love and affection for that special someone on this day and here at Maine Lobster Now we would like to help you with unique ways of displaying that.

Although going out to a nice restaurant to celebrate the occasion is common practice, we believe that the convenience and comfort of your own home could be a nice alternative to the norm. We are happy to offer the excellent option of delicious Maine seafood delivered right to your door. That coupled with some romantic home dining ideas can make this a truly special occasion for you and your loved one.

Lobsters are viewed as one of the most romantic animals, with expressions such as ‘you’re my lobster’ being used in the popular sitcom Friends to show devotion and the firm standing belief of true love. This expression can be linked closely to the fact that lobsters mating with only one partner for their entire life, as well as signs of self-sacrifice and loyalty which we could all strive for. The symbolism behind this provides extra incentive to give consideration to a Maine lobster dinner as a special Valentine’s day treat.


heart lobster

What better way to set the mood for a romantic lobster dinner than the best known natural aphrodisiac? Oysters are likely the most well known aphrodisiac in nature with several factors contributing to this belief. One would be the high Zinc content which is linked to increased levels of testosterone, as well as the presence of a nutrient called Tyrosine. This nutrient is known to heighten levels of Dopamine, also referred to as the feel good hormone contributing to increases in libido. Our Damariscotta Oysters are among some of the most highly sought after and for good reason. The Damariscotta River Basin has had world renowned oysters for hundreds of years due to its ideal water temperatures and the shape of the basin being a haven for these delicious bivalves.  

valentines oysters

With the special day falling on a Tuesday there is availability for overnight shipment of all our delicious products. Whether the full live lobster experience is what you are looking for or maybe our flash frozen jumbo lobster tails with some delicious lobster bisque to start we are the premier supplier of fresh Maine seafood.

 

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“Fall” in Love with Portland, Maine.

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Portland, Maine coast in Fall.

As the years have progressed, Portland Maine has become an extremely popular spot to visit in the Summer months. There is always a very unique, hometown feel to Portland Maine but, in the fall that hometown feel turns  into a “welcome home” feel.  Maine is very well known for the “open door” policy everywhere you go, especially in Portland Maine. We are friendly, welcoming, hard working people, living as stress free as possible, “the way life should be”.

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Beautiful display of Fall in Maine.

Something about Fall brings a whole new atmosphere to the small town of Portland, Maine. Whether it’s the excitement for the upcoming Holidays, Hunting season, Football season, those ready for the hot pumpkin coffee on the crisp mornings, or the warm apple cider freshly prepared from the local orchards after a long days work. One way or another, this cultural filled town brings on a whole new excitement to the seasons changing. There really is not a bad time to experience the great city of Portland Maine but, Fall is the most beautiful.

Nature in Maine is astonishing whether it be the cotton candy sunsets in the summertime, the ice chandeliers hanging off the trees in the winter time, or the rainbow of colors in the trees changing during fall.  I can’t lie, fall wins the contest for most eye popping, mind blowing scenery out of all 4 seasons in Maine. Portland in the Fall is a great place for nature lovers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts, especially when fall foliage is at its peak and nature puts on an impressive display of brilliant colors painted by maples, oak, ash, sumac and elm trees.

Portland Maine is very good at “wowing” you with views but how do we get you to close your mouth after a Jaw Draw dropping view you ask..? With our delicious variety of local foods, cultural foods & beverages, that’s how! Portland Maine is very well known for the endless assortment of unique foods to eat. Portland has recently been nationally recognized as one of the top cities in the United States for food. “Bon Appétit” named Portland America’s foodiest small town, the New York Times calls us “one of the best places to eat in the Northeast,” and there’s a debate about us vying with San Francisco for the most restaurants per capita! The third weekend of October is Portland’s food and spirits festival, “Harvest on the Harbor”. These events include a Sustainable Seafood Supper in partnership with The Gulf of Maine Research Institute, a Maine Lobster Chef Celebration, and the Chef Showcase, featuring nibbles by local chefs and cocktails by Portland’s extremely talented mixologists. The great thing about this city is, I have lived here for almost 4 years now and I am STILL finding new places to go to! The options are endless in Portland when it comes to food. There is a place to go for all income ranges as well, which allows for a greater overall experience for everyone coming to Portland, Maine.

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Oxbow Brews

allagash

Allagash Brews

For beer, you can not go wrong in Portland, Maine. Portland was nominated as the #1 top craft beer city IN THE WORLD!! Yes, you read that right, Maine’s largest city (laughably smaller than major cities) Portland, has been named number 1 on a list of the top cities in the world for craft beer by the website Matador Network.

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Rising Tide Brew

 This small little town sure does love its locally brewed beer you could say! A few great, well known local breweries are “Allagash”, “Rising Tide” & “Oxbow”. As well as these local brews there is an insane beer selection at Novare Res Bier Cafe with over 100 beers to choose from!

 

Portland Maine Eastern Promenade

More of an out n about type of person? No problem! Get your day started with a pleasurable walk or run through the beautiful Eastern Promenade! The Eastern Promenade is the jewel of Portland trails network. This waterfront trail built along an old rail corridor offers spectacular harbor and ocean views. It is a 2.1 mile long trail that is handicap accessible, dog friendly, and perfect for biking, walking, or simply site seeing!

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Bard Coffee Shop!

After your refreshing experience through the Eastern Prom, make your way down to Bards Coffee’s nitro brew for one of the best fresh brewed coffees you’ll ever have! Bards Coffee is not your average Dunkin Donuts or Tim Horton’s coffee. Here is a little part of Bards Coffee’s “about us” from their website that to me sells itself… “Great coffee is most often grown by incredible people in incredible places.  These people and places leave their indelible mark on the coffee making each as unique as a snowflake.  At Bard it is our mission to tell the stories of these people, places and coffees in every cup we serve as though we are fulfilling a promise. We do this by carefully sourcing, roasting and preparing our coffees using only the very best practices in order to bring out and share the most wonderful attributes each has to offer. ”

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Old Port, Maine

After indulging in quite possibly the best coffee you’ve ever had take that excess of energy you just drank and start roaming around the famous Old Port, Maine. You may think you can make it to every shop, even with all the energy you have from the delicious coffee you drank but, you most like wont. Although, if you do you may or may not be up for the running for a spot in the Guinness book of world records for fastest shopper in the world. I say this because there are endless amounts of shops to go to in the Old Port. What’s so great about these shops is, they aren’t quick in and out shops, trust me. These shops are so unique in their very own ways that they almost make you start second guessing yourself whether or not you’ve looked everywhere in the store, there is just so much to see & buy! Some well known shops in the Old Port are, “The Blue Lobster” where unique Maine related gifts are sold, “Cool as a Moose” where classic Maine Clothing & supplies are sold, “Art Mart” where local art and rare art is sold, among these are many many more great shops, you never know what you’ll find in the great city of Old Port, Maine!

Lastly, A great way to end an eventful day in Portland Maine is to head back over to the Eastern Promenade or any view filled area, relax and watch the beautiful sunsets Maine has to offer. That is, if you aren’t an avid night goer. I say this because the Old Port, along with all the wonderful bars, comes some exciting night life bar/clubs. You can find bars that are Country Themed like  Bonfire Country Bar, Hidden private bars like Lincolns which actually has a secret door that looks like a shelf on a wall that gets you inside this below ground, private bar built during the prohibition,  to your generic clubs like Foreplay or Pearl if you’re looking to dance!

So now you know some great stops to make and I am sure you will get side tracked along the way finding your own shops, restaurants or site seeing areas. Your next stop should most definitely be the adventurous city of Portland, Maine! Thank you for reading!

 

Portland Head Light at Sunrise from Fort Williams Park

Portland Head Light at Sunrise from Fort Williams Parkreas.

Sources:

http://www.portlandmaine.com/directory_category/shopping/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/120752833736358880/

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Wild Caught VS. Pounded Lobsters

Wild Caught Maine Lobster Vs. Pounded Lobsters

Wild Caught Maine Lobster

Wild Caught Maine Lobster:

Wild Caught Lobsters are the most natural, healthiest, &  freshest lobsters you can get. At Maine Lobster Now we are committed to providing you the best Wild Caught Maine Lobster. This means the lobsters are caught right off the coast of Maine and delivered to us directly from the lobster boats. Choosing to only sell Wild Caught Lobsters allows Maine Lobster Now to provide a consistent high quality, sweet, flavorful lobster for all of our customers.

We consider Wild Caught Maine Lobster from local lobster men to be the absolute best. The lobster follows Maine Department of Marine Resources regulations which ensures the sustainability of the lobster population. We are also supporting our local and state economy by purchasing from Maine Lobster men instead of from Canadian wholesalers. At Maine Lobster Now we believe in Sustainable Seafood, Buying Locally and Home Delivery.

Pounded Lobsters:

The first lobster pound appeared on Vinalhaven in 1875 and others quickly followed. Lobster pounds work in the same manner as the smack boats. The lobsters are kept in tanks with water passing freely through them. The first lobster pound was in a deep tidal creek, but today they are more common on docks floating in the harbor. Using the pound, dealers can wait for the price of lobster to increase or allow a newly-molted lobster time to harden its shell.

As stated above, tidal lobster pounds started back in 1875 and were designed to store lobsters for peak season.  A second definition of lobster pound can be a large holding area for lobster created by wharves and netting. The tide cleans and refreshes the holding area.  You can witness this design at Riverview Lobster Pound in Pemaquid, Maine, which was built in 1888 by Freeman Grover. The area of this pound is two acres of surface and, according to its owners, “can accommodate over 50,000 pounds of lobsters comfortably”.

The big problem with lobster pounds is that numerous lobsters live in a small space for months at a time. They are fed scraps and often times eat the dead lobsters in the pound. These lobsters can catch shell disease (shown in picture) and antibiotics are required to stop the spread to the other lobsters in the pound. At Maine Lobster Now, we REFUSE to sell pounded lobsters. Some vendors consider these “fresh” because they do live in a saltwater environment. However, we do not consider these Wild Caught lobsters and we will not accept any pounded lobster for delivery to our customers.

Why Choose Maine Lobster Now over a Lobster Pound?

We have been delivering lobsters locally for 30 years. We purchase directly from a select few local lobster men. The lobsters are immediately transferred to our cold saltwater tank for overnight storage. Lobsters are then boiled and picked for meat, delivered live to local businesses or shipped live to our customers all over the United States and Canada. Some of the most popular local seafood restaurants buy directly from us because they know we have the freshest wild caught Maine lobsters and the freshest hand-picked lobster meat. We supply The Lobster Shack at Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth, Portland Lobster Company in downtown Portland and The Black Point Inn on Prouts Neck in Scarborough just to name a few.

We stand by our Wild Caught Maine Lobster and would be glad to answer any questions you have about our product. Our lobster tails, lobster meat, and lobster rolls come from Wild Caught Maine lobsters. Simply call us at 207-799-8222 and ask for Taylor or Julian to learn more about our tremendous product!

Go to our home page for more information on Live Maine Lobster Shipped

 

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Maine Vs. Canadian Lobsters

What are they?

The American Lobster known as the “Homarus Americans”, is a species of lobster found in the Atlantic coast of North America. It is also known as Canadian Lobster, True Lobster, Northern Lobster, Calive_maine_lobster_delivery_LRGnadian Reds, or Maine Lobster.  The American Lobster thrives in cold, shallow waters where there are many rocks and other places to hide from predators. Homarus Americans typically live at a depth of 13-164 feet under water but they can be found up to 1,500 feet below the surface! They’re known for their sweet flavor, tender meat, giant claws & hard shells. Formerly known as the “poor mans food” to now, a luxury, special occasion, treat yourself kind of food!

Before I begin speaking about the differences between a Maine Lobster and a Canadian Lobster, I want to address something I believe most people do not know about Maine and Canadian Lobsters, as well as it being a very common question Maine Lobster Now receives weekly. That question is, “Are Maine Lobsters and Canadian Lobsters different?” That answer is a big NO. Canadian Lobsters and Maine Lobsters are both “Homarus Americans”. Although they’re the same species, they do have distinct differences which I will clarify below.

Maine Lobsters:

In the United States the Lobster industry is reglobster-measureulated. Every fisher is required to use a lobster gauge to measure the distance from the lobster’s eye socket to the end of its carapace. If the lobster is less than 3.25 inches long, it is too young to be sold and must be released back to the sea to help regulate and maintain a healthy stock of lobsters for the future. There is also a legal maximum size of 5 inches in Maine, meant to ensure the survival of a healthy breeding stock of adult males. Meaning, we do not sell lobsters over 5 inches because they’re great for

breeding which falls back on helping regulate and maintain a healthy stock of lobsters.

Maine has warmer waters than Canada which results in Maine Lobsters being a little softer than Canadians. With the water being a bit warmer but not too warm, this allows for a better tasting lobster and the meat being more tender. With the Maine waters being warmer causing the Lobsters shell to not be as firm as a Canadians, the transit life of a Maine lobster is 24-48 hours after leaving the water. Thus Maine Lobster Now specializing in overnight shipments of fresh, flavorful, Maine Lobsters.

Canadian Lobsters:

Canadian Lobsters live in colder waters allowing their shells to get much harder than Maine Lobsters. With their shells being harder the meat from a Canadian Lobster is less sweet and tender. Canadian Lobsters having a harder shell allows for them to survive out of water for 48-72 hours. With Canadian Lobsters having a longer life out of the water most areas that do not have easy access to real Maine Lobsters like Maine Lobster Now does, choose to buy and sell Canadians solely for the fact that they can live longer after being caught and distributed. Most lobsters people commonly see at your local grocery store are Canadian Lobsters for that reason. With the Canadian Lobsters commonly sold in your local market/grocery store, this calls for a very high demand of lobsters, whichshutterstock_123159829 means a large portion of the lobsters that are distributed around the world come from a lobster pound. Pounded Lobsters are not nearly as healthy and carry antibiotics to keep them alive and “healthy”. Don’t get me wrong, pounded lobsters are still good but they do have their downfalls which is why Maine Lobster Now chooses to stick with our local, WILD CAUGHT, Maine Lobsters.

Canadian Lobstermen do not go out on their boats during the summer months due to the water temperate changing. Canadian fishermen & distributors “tube” lobsters and store them to keep them alive. Doing this is not good. When lobsters are “tubed” this means they’re stored in a tube, not growing which means the meat inside the lobster decreases the longer it is tubed, basically dwindling away to nothing. For example, you could be ordering a 1.5lb Live Lobster that on average gives you just under a pound of meat from a healthy Maine Lobster but a 1.5lb Canadian Tubed Lobster will give you much less than 1lb of meat and it wont taste nearly as good and cost you relatively the same price as a delicious Maine Lobster.  Lastly, Canadian Lobsters are shipped WITH bait where Maine Lobsters DO NOT ship with bait. Shipping lobsters with bait leaves a horridly, unpleasant fishy smell to the lobsters before being cooked and even after being cooked.

Comparing Maine to Canadian Lobsters:

Overall, Maine Lobsters win the taste test every time. Maine Lobsters are not shipped with bait allowing the before and after experience of cooking the lobsters much more enjoyable without having to bear the nose plugging scent from a Canadian Lobster shipped with bait. Maine Lobsters are easier to break into compared to an extremely hard shelled Canadian Lobster resulting in the overall experience of cooking and eating a Lobster much easier when you’re eating a Maine Lobster. Canadian Lobsters are sold everywhere resulting in a Maine Lobster being more of a “rare” lobster due to them not being sold everywhere because of their limited life after being taken out of the water in turn makes them more of a luxury rather than a convenience.

For guaranteed Maine Lobsters and superb service visit www.mainelobsternow.com to view our selection of lobster sizes and various other seafood products!

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History of Maine Blueberries.

Maine Blueberries were some of the first plants to appear in Maine over 10 thousand years ago! It has been recorded that when the glaciers ovshutterstock_150330176 (2)er Maine receded, some of the first plants to appear were wild blueberry bushes. Blueberries are very good at growing in poor, stressful environments. 1,000 years ago, Native Americans discovered that blueberries were not only tasty but healthy. The Native Americans began the practice of burning the fields to kill off unwanted insects and weeds, maximizing the quality and growth of their blueberry fields. Most do not know how long it takes to establish a good wild blueberry field, it takes 50 years!

When you think of blueberries, you may think of, blueberry muffins, blueberry pie, blueberry jam etc, but when you think of blueberries have you ever wondered how many varieties of blueberries there are? Well if you must know, there are 6.5 MILLION varieties of blueberries, 6.5 MILLION!! It is that diversity of blueberries that gives the wonderful flavor to wild blueberries, it’s actually a complex mixture of flavors.

Maine is the largest producer of wild blueberries in the world, and they are grown on 60,000 acres. Six companies operate processing plants that freeze and can berries, and there is one fresh pack cooperative. 99% of Maine’s crop is frozen and most is used as a food ingredient. Less than 1 percent is sold fresh. In late July and early August, thousands of hand rakers join mechanical harvesters to bring in the berries. Last year, Maine’s harvest was 88 million with a value of $160 million!

Now that you have read this short blog on blueberries you may or may not be craving a delicious blueberry pie!? If so try Maine Lobster Now’s very or classic Maine Blueberry pie! Link Below!

Blueberry Pie link —> https://www.mainelobsternow.com/desserts/blueberry-pie

Fun Fact:

Wild Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity per serving, compared with more than 20 other fruits!

 

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Maine Hard Shell Lobsters VS. Soft Shell Lobsters

A common question asked about Maine Lobsters or Lobsters in general is, “What is better.. Hard Shell or Soft Shell Lobsters?”. This is a great question that Maine Lobster Now has been striving to answer for its customers.

Benefits of Hard Shell Maine Lobsters:live_maine_lobster_delivery_LRG

  1. Since Hard Shells haven’t shed their shell yet this year, They have reached capacity in their shells and are packed to the fullest with tasty lobster meat.
  2. They taste delicious and people prefer them for their firm, dense texture.
  3. They cost more than soft shells due to them being filled to the brim with meat so what you’re paying for is overall a larger amount of lobster meat per lobster.
  4. Hard Shells, yes they are harder to get into than a soft shell BUT with no room for water inside the shell this creates less of a mess while breaking and eating!
  5. They survive much better in transit while shipping allowing MLN to provide you with DELICIOUS Maine Lobsters, all day, everyday!

Benefits of Soft Shell Maine Lobsters:

  1. Soft Shells mean, the lobster has recently shed their old cramped shell for a new one with growing room. This allows extra water in their shells while they cook which locals say seems to marinate them a bit, making them a little more tender.
  2. With there being less meat in a soft or “new” shell lobster, the cost is less per pound for soft shells.
  3. Soft Shells have a new, thinner shell that is much easier to remove for your dinner.

Comparison Summary of Hard to Soft Shell Lobsters:

Hard Shell Lobsters overall, provide more meat per pound, they do not break as easily while cooking, they’re less messy while breaking apart and eating due to their being minimal amounts of water inside them, and they survive much better in transit. Soft Shell lobsters overall, provide LESS meat than a Hard Shell, the lobster claws/parts of lobsters breaking off while cooking is much more likely, less meat allows more water inside the lobster which does make the meat a bit more tender BUT the breaking apart and eating of a soft shell lobster is MUCH messier. Lastly Soft Shell Lobsters are extremely difficult to ship due to them having a weak, soft shell, resulting in a low success rate of shipments.

 

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How Does a Lobster Trap Work?

sustainable_fisheriesLobster fishing is hard, physically demanding work. It involves long hours, harsh weather conditions, and an unpredictable and unforgiving work environment. The men and women that go out to sea to catch our favorite crustaceans put themselves through a lot of tough physical and mental work. Although, it’s a difficult job that only some are cut out for, ironically the method of actually catching the lobsters is pretty simple. I’m talking about the lobster trap itself.
Being invented over 200 years ago, this contraption hasn’t changed much since the 1800s. The only major change to the lobster trap is that instead of being built with wood, we now use plastic or metal frames. However, their function and basic design have remained the same.

So, how does a lobster trap work? It’s very simple. Lobsters walk along the ocean floor in depths from 20 to 100 feet. Lobster traps are made for the lobsters to walk right into the trap, it’s easy for them to walk in, but once they are the funnel design of the trap makes it so they cannot walk out. Most lobster traps have two inner compartments, one is known as the kitchen and the other as the parlor. The lobsters enter the trap through a door that leads to the kitchen that is where the bait is located. The lobster retrieves the bait from the bait bag and once it grabs the bait it attempts to exit the kitchen through a second door that leads to the parlor. Here is where the lobster becomes trapped, both doors are funnel-shaped, which makes them easy to enter but very difficult to exit, this funnel design keeps the lobsters from leaving tIMG_0855 (2)he trap so that is where they stay until they are hauled up onto the boat.

Baiting the lobster trap is also very simple. The lobsterman places a piece of fresh or salted fish in the kitchen compartment of the trap. The bait is normally put inside a bait bag that hangs in the trap. Once the traps are all baited and ready to go out to sea, they are taken out on the lobster boat and lowered to the ocean floor on a rope with a floating marker buoy at the other end. These markers are usually colored or have numbers on them so the lobstermen can easily identify which traps belong to them. There are regulations to lobster fishing and all lobstermen must follow them accordingly. Depending on where you’re fishing the size of the lobster must measure up or the lobsterman must throw them back. Lobster traps nowadays have small vents or openings in them in the parlor section of the trap and this allows undersized lobsters to escape, leaving the larger ones trapped. This simple design takes the credit for bringing you your favorite wild caught Maine lobsters, lobster tails, and lobster meat!lobstertrap

So, although the profession of lobstering is a hard job to do, the method of actually trapping the lobsters is a pretty simple one. The lobster trap is a method that works and has stood the test of time (200 years!) Now, when you go to eat your fresh, Maine lobster you have a little insight as to how these critters are caught. What’s also really cool is there are multiple video tutorials and step by step instructions on how to build one of these contraptions yourself! So, if you’re looking for a fun DIY project or craving a taste of the Maine scenery, you can have a piece of Maine with you in your home!

 

Sources:

http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4693751_lobster-trap-work.html

http://traveltips.usatoday.com/use-lobster-trap-13914.html

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The Evolution of a Maine Symbol: The Lobster Boat

The lobster boat is a recognizable image that people all across the country associate with Maine. It’s a symbol that has evolved over time but still always kept the same meaning of hard work, simplicity, and our way of life here in Maine. The lobster boat portrays a strong image of our history in the lobster industry and an image that is so unique to us here in Maine, that sometimes that’s all people from other places associate us with (which we don’t mind!) If you’ve ever visited the Portland, Maine waterfront or any of the other lobstering towns in Maine you’ll be able to pick out dozens of these vessels and find yourself fascinated just by looking at them. Each boat is different, and just by looking at one for a couple of minutes you can form a story of your own of the men and women on board. Each boat is unique to them, the name of the boat, the buoys, the scratches, paint chips, and traps all contribute to that particular story and history of that boat. That’s why the evolution and history of this famous boat is so important and intriguing in this industry and to all those that love those little creatures they catch!

The first mention of the lobster boat was in the Boston Gazette in 1726, but the boat itself dates back much earlier. Powered by an oar and sail, the first lobster boat was nicknamed the “Yankee invention” but was formally called The Dory. Pictured below, The Dory was used in almost all fisheries and other sorts of waterfront occupations. It was built in both slab and round sided styles with a flat bottom. This was truly an American product, and just by looking at the picture below you get a sense of the salty-haired, bearded men boarding this small boat out in all types of weather determined to catch the lobsters that provided for their families.

Dory02

 

The next lobster boat developed resembled a little tiny garden vegetable, and for that was named The Pea Pod. This was a double ended boat, and looked just like a pod split open down the middle of the seam with the peas removed. The Pea Pod could be rowed in both directions, and its shallow design and ease of movement made it easy to navigate the rocky coastline. This design was mostly used for in-shore lobster fishing. Today, The Pea Pod is still in use but has found new purpose as a family pleasure boat because of its good lines, easy handling and excellent performance.

The Friendship Sloop was a boat that still holds glory today. Dating back to the 1850s, these boats were the most popular work boat on the Maine coast before lobster boats were revolutionized by the gas engine. This was an inexpensive boat to make and they were crafted all along the Maine coast, they were a fixture in the harbors. The Friendship Sloop could hold double the cargo of The Pea Pod and was much easier to maneuver, typically it only took one lobsterman to haul in traps. Today, the Friendship Sloop continues to awe people all over. The beauty and history of this boat lives on in The Friendship Sloop Society in Rockland, Maine.

Friendship

Then came gasoline engines, which of course changed the way boats were made and the way lobsterman fished. The gas engine was first put in a style of lobster boat called The Hampton, which had a tight turning radius that was a must-have for the waters of Casco Bay here along the Maine coast. With gas engines came Torpedo Boats and The Brimstone. Both were more slim, sleek, and faster than previous boats and became a need for lobsterman throughout New England. They were efficient boats that were light, but tough and could weather rough seas. The main benefit of introducing the gas engine to the lobster boat was it allowed the lobstermen to venture farther from shore all year round, and they could use the power to haul up traps instead of doing in manually.

Nowadays, we use lobster boats which can sometimes be referred to as Man O War boats. They straddle the line between a working commercial lobstering boat and a pleasure-boating lobster yacht. This boat has higher horse power, radar, radio systems, depth sounder, and other essential technical equipment. They, of course, carry more traps, can travel farther and can travel speeds greater than 40mph. These will be the boats you see housing themselves along the waterfront today.

Lobstering has such a deep and colorful history here in Maine. That rich history adds other interesting avenues to explore, like the Maine lobster boat. Through its history it has provided the way we retrieve our beloved lobster, and a way of life for so many families here in Maine. When picturing a lobster boat, you not only picture its unique design and strangely beautiful details but the back story behind every boat and that back story begins with this evolution of such a historic Maine symbol.

 

http://www.maineboats.com/online/boat-features/evolution-maine-lobsterboat

http://www.gma.org/lobsters/boats.html

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