|View of the harbor at low tide off Langodon Road|
While on the East Coast for a 'college tour', my two daughters and I zigged off course (exchanging a college 'rendez-vous' for 4 nights on the coast of Maine). We did, in fact, make a couple of accidental discoveries - acquiring, for starters, a particular obsession that we were not at all in search of.
|Goose Rocks Beach, Maine|
What we were in pursuit of was a few relaxing days by the shore.
|Perfectly cooked, straight off the grill. No bibs needed, thank you.|
|At prices like this, who can resist?|
|Lobster dipped in butter on a 'bun' with Calico corn on the cob|
|Home of the best Lobster Roll of our entire trip!|
|Low tide on Cape Porpoise|
|Nunan's Lobster Hut, where the lines are very long most of the time|
|O'Reilly Lobster Co-op was right next door... We loved the lobster and the conversation!|
|Wolff Lobster - hands down the 'cutest' shack around|
|Ruth, of Wolff's. A Swiss family, lobstering in Maine for more than 12 years.|
|Notice the unopened butter pat....|
|Cut in half, a 1.5lb lobster cooks to perfection in about 10 minutes|
So, on our last night we decided to do a taste test. We picked up live lobster from several different 'shacks', a few soft shell (less meat but said to be more flavorful) and a few hard shell (more meat but harder to get at) lobsters along with some vegetable salads and a bottle of Reisling from The Cape Porpoise Kitchen.
|Dick's favorite shack - the famous Langsford Road lobster house|
|Our hero and lobster mentor, Dick|
Dick kindly offered to cut our lobsters in half and prepare them (olive oil, salt & pepper)... since we had neither suitable knife nor cutting board, we took him up on his gracious offer (here's where the borrowed platter comes in).
About 10 minutes later, we sat down to a feast.
Our preference? The soft shell lobster... no need for crackers or picks and the meat is amazingly sweet.
In addition to not having pots to wash, the BIG plus with grilling is that you don't accidentally get soaked by the lobster pot water shooting out of your neighbors claw as they open it... something we had experienced and witnessed more than once over the last few days. Trust me, " Eau de Lobster" is not a desireable fragrance.
|Lobster Madness can set in...|
|Adrian of Langsfords picks a lobster|
Lobster fishing is an important, sustainable industry in Maine and the livelihood for many families along the coast. Some Maine lobster-fishermen (and women) are part of a multi-generational tradition dating back to the early 1800's when the demand began to grow and commercialization was established (lobster shacks, open holding wells on docks, etc). I was amazed to find out that Maine accounts for 80% of all the lobster consumed in the US... that's a lot of lobster (apparently, the other huge industries in Maine are blueberries and potatoes) Now, with overnight airfreight, fresh Maine lobster can easily be enjoyed most anywhere in the continental US.
Among the other interesting tidbits of information that came to light during our stay, is that the peak time for lobster is in the fall, and, this has been a record year in terms of catch size for Maine. If I lived state side, I'd be taking advantage of that... but since I can't, you should! Sure beats the heck out of buying frozen shrimp from China or Thailand.
For those of you who want to help support one of America's oldest industries on record, here are some phone numbers:
|This enormous claw came off of a 1 1/2 lb lobster!|
O'Reilly Lobster Co-op - (207) 967-1275
Wolff Lobster - (207) 283-1729
Langsford Road Lobster - (207) 967-1950
Cape Porpoise Lobster - (207) 967- 0123
And if you are at a loss for what to do with lobster besides grilling, steaming or boiling it?
We had the MOST delicious Macaroni and Cheese (marscapone & provalone) with lobster... or, how about lobster chowder (with cream, potatoes, carrots, thyme and NO thickener), or tossed on taglitelle with EXOO, garlic and basil There's plenty to be done with lobster... order some, make it and tell us all about it!
It's a great life!
Other Useful Links:
Travel & Leisure's 10 best lobster shacks in Maine