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johnnyd

Lobster Prices Tank

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My understanding of lobster is that larger lobsters are not tougher but people tend to overcompensate and cook them too much, leading to tougher meat. Anyone else care to comment?


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I live in Wisconsin and was astonished to find out that the local grocery chain (Copps) was selling live Maine lobsters. I've never seen this as long as I've lived here (only 3 1/2 years, but still) though there is one specialty store around that I know of that sells them at prohibitive prices. They were $11.99/lb for 1.5 pounders. The price isn't spectacular, but the fact that they're selling them at all is unusual. I was so surprised I bought two, ate one tail one night and turned the shells and remaining meat into bisque the next day.

I found live lobster (probably from Maine??) in St. Paul at an Asian food store for 7.99 a pound.

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Lobster prices have finally come down in my local supermarkets. 1 - 1.5 lbs are $7.99/lb and 1.5-2lbs are $8.99/lb. I bought some to celebrate my son's birthday. These were hardshells, lively and delicious!


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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My understanding of lobster is that larger lobsters are not tougher but people tend to overcompensate and cook them too much, leading to tougher meat. Anyone else care to comment?

Yep. Larger lobsters are not tougher but get that way due to overcooking (a 6 pounder DOESN'T take twice the time of a 3 pounder). They are easier to get the meat out of. They provide more meat since you can get the meat out of the legs. In Canada, the really big ones are also often a lot cheaper than the 2 pounders. I buy the big boys (actually girls) when they are on sale and prefer them to the smaller lobsters.

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Heard from pals in Reading, Mass: $3.99/lb for 1¼lb this week.

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In Canada, the really big ones are also often a lot cheaper than the 2 pounders. I buy the big boys (actually girls) when they are on sale and prefer them to the smaller lobsters.

There is a law in Maine prohibiting the harvesting of large female lobsters as they are considered brood stock for this fishery. Legislation is being prepared to enact similar laws in other New England states.

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This from today's Portland Press Herald,

In 1930, men stood on street corners in New York City and tried to sell apples for a nickel, or even a penny. Sales were slow. As the Great Depression took hold, many people just didn't have money to buy fruit, even at bargain prices.

In 2008, some lobster fishermen in Maine have been selling their catch out of trucks for as low as $3.99 a pound. That hasn't dried up the oversupply, in part because – even at bargain prices – many people can't afford lobster.

Comparing apples and lobsters isn't a perfect match-up. Lobster is a luxury item, and low prices stem from lack of demand in the recession, according to Charles Colgan, an economic forecaster at the University of Southern Maine.

But the struggle that Maine's lobster industry is enduring now serves as a modern-day illustration that, if prices continue to fall, a bargain can turn dangerous.  The fear is deflation, which is a decline in general price levels, caused by a reduction in the supply of money or credit, and flagging consumer confidence.

Deflation was a hallmark of the Great Depression. Of course, lobster prices aren't an indicator of that kind of deflation – not at this point, anyway. But it can serve as a worse-case analogy of what can happen when prices spiral into a freefall.

"Lobster is just a more-expensive apple," Colgan said.


Edited by johnnyd (log)

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Heard from pals in Reading, Mass:  $3.99/lb for 1¼lb this week.

--------------

In Canada, the really big ones are also often a lot cheaper than the 2 pounders. I buy the big boys (actually girls) when they are on sale and prefer them to the smaller lobsters.

There is a law in Maine prohibiting the harvesting of large female lobsters as they are considered brood stock for this fishery. Legislation is being prepared to enact similar laws in other New England states.

I'm sure they will eventually pass a law in that regards here too.

Right now, you only have to throw females back that actually have the roe on their tail. Until that day, I buy the girls.


Edited by sjemac (log)

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Right now, you only have to throw females back that actually have the roe on their tail.  Until that day, I buy the girls.

Why do you prefer the females? Do you taste a difference?


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

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Just checked Citarella, an expensive Gourmet foodstore in Manhattan:

"large" live Maine lobsters: $12.99/lb

"small" live Maine lobsters: $9.99/lb

Guessing that means that a 1.5lb lobster goes for $15, while a 3lb lobster goes for $39.

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The grocery stores in Halifax are $7.99/lb. The fish markets are a buck less, and there are plenty of roadside trucks offering $4.99/lb.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Right now, you only have to throw females back that actually have the roe on their tail.  Until that day, I buy the girls.

Why do you prefer the females? Do you taste a difference?

The females contain the coral or unfertilized roe. It is great stuff to use in sauces and dips or -- as I most commonly eat it -- simply picked from the cooked lobster, mashed with a little butter, salt and pepper and spread on toast. Then again, I use all the green tamale and the white fat too.

Stuck in Alberta till summer, the best price I will get is about 9.99 at the Asian markets.


Edited by sjemac (log)

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Browne Trading are selling "firm" shells from 1-1.5 lbs at $7.99/lb plus shipping. "Hard" shells are more expensive.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Right now, you only have to throw females back that actually have the roe on their tail.  Until that day, I buy the girls.

Why do you prefer the females? Do you taste a difference?

The females contain the coral or unfertilized roe. It is great stuff to use in sauces and dips or -- as I most commonly eat it -- simply picked from the cooked lobster, mashed with a little butter, salt and pepper and spread on toast. Then again, I use all the green tamale and the white fat too.

Stuck in Alberta till summer, the best price I will get is about 9.99 at the Asian markets.

Right -- I love the roe as well. I misunderstood and thought there was a suggestion of better meat from the female, which would be news to me.

$9.99/lb is not so bad, surely less than a year ago?


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Did business in Freeport, Maine today. Saw this sad sight:

gallery_16643_1028_29444.jpg

Current Real Estate issues are one thing but unless you're literally flushing the cash down the toilet at closing time, every lobster shack I know - up to now - makes money.


"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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I've never seen so many lobster trucks around -- they're everywhere. A guy from down the South Shore (3 hours away) set up in the WalMart parking lot charging a mere $4/lb. I could resist no longer and got 2 X 1.5 lb for $12 CAD. Made an obscene sandwich.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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They were 8.99 CAD at the supermarket today.  I'm assuming that was per lobster and not per pound.

I usually see lobster prices listed as per pound and not per lobster. Unless those were small lobsters I would expect that that price was per pound and not per lobster, though if they were small it might be one and the same.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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They were 8.99 CAD at the supermarket today.  I'm assuming that was per lobster and not per pound.

I usually see lobster prices listed as per pound and not per lobster. Unless those were small lobsters I would expect that that price was per pound and not per lobster, though if they were small it might be one and the same.

I usually see it listed as per pound too, but the sign said Lobster 8.99. There was no lb sign after the price.

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They do that all the time. I would be VERY surprised if it was NOT per pound.

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In Chicago, a local grocery store is selling live, hard shell 1.25-1.5 pounders for $5.99/lb (with $20 grocery purchase), $7.99/lb for 1.5-2 pounders and $10.99/lb for 2-3 pounders. Which is the best deal?


What disease did cured ham actually have?

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In Chicago, a local grocery store is selling live, hard shell 1.25-1.5 pounders for $5.99/lb (with $20 grocery purchase), $7.99/lb for 1.5-2 pounders and $10.99/lb for 2-3 pounders.  Which is the best deal?

All those prices look attractive but I'd stick to the smaller to mid-sized for the best flavor and texture. Tell the clerk to keep it under $10 each and go from there.


"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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In Chicago, a local grocery store is selling live, hard shell 1.25-1.5 pounders for $5.99/lb (with $20 grocery purchase), $7.99/lb for 1.5-2 pounders and $10.99/lb for 2-3 pounders.  Which is the best deal?

All those prices look attractive but I'd stick to the smaller to mid-sized for the best flavor and texture. Tell the clerk to keep it under $10 each and go from there.

to a certain extent it depends on one's purpose. The smaller lobsters are fine if one is going to boil or broil them and just eat the claws and the tail. If one is going to use lobster meat as an ingredient than I like larger ones as they provide more bang for the buck. One can get meat from the legs, the carapace and the tail fins as well as the claws and the tail, perhaps spending less overall.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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In Chicago, a local grocery store is selling live, hard shell 1.25-1.5 pounders for $5.99/lb (with $20 grocery purchase), $7.99/lb for 1.5-2 pounders and $10.99/lb for 2-3 pounders.  Which is the best deal?

All those prices look attractive but I'd stick to the smaller to mid-sized for the best flavor and texture. Tell the clerk to keep it under $10 each and go from there.

I've noticed no real difference in flavor and texture between small lobsters and large ones even up to 6 pounds provided they have been prepared properly. People tend to overcook larger lobsters and that affects flavor and texture. 2-3 pounders would be my choice for most things but NOT at nearly double the price. I would normally expect to pay only a buck or two more a pound for the bigger lobsters.

With the prices quoted, I would go with the 5.99 bugs.

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