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Kitchen Nightmare 9/25 Maine vs Canadian Lobster?

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Never heard this distinction before. Can someone shed some light?

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  1. I just got done watching this show too. I didn't think there was a huge difference in Maine and Canadian Lobster. I didn't think there was a diffference at all. The reaction from Gordan Ramsey was hilarious. I think it was over dramatized for television. That other owner with the leisure suit look was a scum bag, I thought changing ownership roles was a smart move,

    1. My understanding is that lobsters of the same species can taste somewhat different based upon where they are caught. This largely reflects regional water characteristics and the various food sources that the lobsters themselves feed on.

      1. Along with water temperature differences, there are also seasonal differences and weight restrictions. I find Prince Edward island lobster sweeter and more tender than NH and Maine lobster, but the PEI lobsters I've had have also always been smaller than legal catch in the states. Does anyone know follow up on the success/failure of the Black Pearl make over?

        1. I'm gonna jump in without having seeing the episode (although it sounds interesting enough).
          I don't think there's a difference either - especially with the broad stroke of "Maine vs Canadian". I mean, Maine BORDERS on Canada. If a specific lobster so chose, he could walk over the underwater "border" and could change from a Maine lobster to a Canadian or vice versa.

          Now, if you compare a Maine lobster to perhaps a Newfoundland lobster, or a cape cod lobster to a new brunswick puppy, perhaps there is room for argument - but I dunno.

          To my uneducated palate, lobsters from cape cod to maine to new brunswick to newfoundland to PEI pretty much taste the same.

          13 Replies
          1. re: porker

            Due to the counter (anti)clockwise water circulation of the Gulf of Maine and the fact that when the lobster eggs (berries on the underside of the tail) "hatch" and are spewed into the water, they flow and grow to the south. A lobster "born" in Nova Scotia waters will mature in Maine. The real question is harvesting policies and conservation. There is no such thing as a 5 lb. Maine lobster. There is a maximum size limit in Maine, but not in Canada. The big boys are the breeders and increase reproduction rates. The Maine harvest rates increase incrementally, but I understand that the Nova Scotia harvest is down and the response is shortening the season. The taste question,I feel, is moot.

            1. re: Passadumkeg

              "There is no such thing as a 5 lb. Maine lobster"

              Can't agree with that. ME Lobsters get a good bit larger than 5 pounds. Now if they are legal to catch or not is a seperate issue.

              1. re: Fritter

                Yea, I got a free dinner in Las Vegas when I had the download of Maine's lobster laws and presented them to the owner of the restaurant who had a sign in front advertising 5 lb Maine Lobsters. I asked him if it was false advertising. The place was right on the strip.

                1. re: Passadumkeg

                  LOL funny stuff!
                  This is the first year I can recall seeing so many live Canadian Lobsters here. I picked up four 1.25 Maines for Lobster rolls this past weekend ($5.99#) that were all soft shells.

                  1. re: Fritter

                    Fairway on long island has big ones for $5/lb. this week. 4-6 lb.
                    http://www.fairwaymarket.com/Fairway-...

                    1. re: phantomdoc

                      It must suck for the Lobstermen but I'm doing my fair share for the lobster economy this season! :-)

                      1. re: Fritter

                        I have a student that we get lobsters from. Just before school ended, he gave me a yellow Post-it withe the title "Lobster Hot Line" and his cell and house phone nos. He has not charged me once this summer (My birthday in June, wife's in July, son in Aug.) He is so disgusted w/ the price he just mutters that it isn't worth it. Boat price last week was $2,25 /lb US. We had m jumbos at a local restaurant Sun. for $5 /lb restaurant price.
                        I have had enough lobsters in Maine, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, that I truly feel that any tase difference is in the cooking (under or over cooked) or hard shell vs soft shell. I can taste no national difference. On the other hand, where I live, used to be Quebec, so w/ the French (Our local lobsters come from Frenchman's Bay.) influence, Downeast Maine lobsters must taste better than Anglophone Canadian or southern Maine ones! (Joking of course)

                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                          Former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau once said, regarding fishing rights on the Grand Banks "Fish swim". By that, he meant that fish that might spawn in Canadian waters will swim out to international waters and back many times. Who has the right to them, or the right to regulate their catch? It's a thorny issue, and hasn't been solved yet.

                          And my response to Ramsay is "lobsters swim". There's nothing to stop a Nova Scotia lobster swimming a few miles south, and suddenly become a "Maine" lobster. Ramsay was talking out of his rear orifice. I've had lobster in Maine and Nova Scotia and never noticed a difference in taste (price, yes, taste, no). I'd love to arrange a blind taste test just to show how full of it Ramsay is.

                          1. re: FrankD

                            Nationalism is a funny thing. Mainers look dwn their nose at lobbers further south and local lobstermen feel the Canadian lobsters are redder because of Canadian Gov't subsidies and accuse them of dumping and driving the price down. All tastes good to me!

                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                              Yep, my best friend lives in Portland, and when we visit, we either buy lobster from some place on the water in Portland, or he takes us up to Harraseeket (sp?) lunch near Freeport, and we chow down there. Maine or Canadian, I'm with you, it all tastes good!

                              On the other hand, my wife is from Asia, and when we visit, I find the southern lobsters, while huge, have nowhere near the sweetness or texture of our North American bugs. The only crustaceans I want to eat out of warm waters are crawfish.

                              1. re: FrankD

                                portland oregon ?never heard of west coast bugs

                                1. re: howlin

                                  I would assume Portland Maine.

                2. re: Fritter

                  People use the term "Maine Lobster" as a descriptor for Homarus Americanus - but as noted above, the species has a pretty broad range. If you've been served a 5lb "Maine" lobster, it may be that the vendor is not representing where it was harvested, but simpy that it's not a spiny lobster from the Carribean.

            2. Yup. Ramsay's wrong and there is no distinction other than marketing. I have blogged about it here: http://itcamefromthekitchen.blogspot....

              9 Replies
              1. re: Geoff394

                I thought Ramsay's major point was they advertised Maine lobster and they were from Canada. It was false advertising. Not legal.

                1. re: Janet

                  That was my impression while watching the episode last night. Calling a lobster Maine when it wasn't. At the beginning of the show, David (one of the owners) kept referring to the restaurants "Maine" inspired menu, decor, style...only to have Gordon challenge the source of their main ingredient. Anyone remember the recent CH post asking if what is advertised on the menu, should be what you receive on your plate....this show highlighted why. However, Gordon being the good old sport he is...purchased a lobster tank as part of the makeover and placed it front and center. Aside from the scripted nature of the show and that all the owners have to know going in what will happen during taping-some good points are made for the homeviewer as well as the owners.

                  Three owners must have been the "nightmare" part of this segment.

                  1. re: Janet

                    Right, remember when that annoying owner said he wouldn't put seasoning on a Maine lobster roll because it wouldn't be authentic? Go figure.

                    1. re: Janet

                      If that was Ramsay's point, he was wrong. Which is no surprise. Maine lobster is the most common common name for Homarus americanus. As another example, Dungeness crab doesn't have to come from Dungeness.

                      But I'm sure he thinks it's good fun to mislead viewers.

                    2. re: Geoff394

                      Actually, I would disagree, they are differences in taste depending on where and when a lobster was harvested. Since they are scavengers, their feeding habits will chnage the taste of the lobster. As a canadian I only eat canadian lobster, but specimens from rocky regions will differ in taste from sandy regions. Which is best is a debate I will not even to answer. (Nor will I get into the whole male VS female lobster debate!)

                      1. re: ScoobySnacks20

                        I don't think there are any lobsters in Maine or Canada from sandy regions. The lobbers stick to the rocks for protection. I worked 2 summers as a sternman on a lobster boat. Traps are always set on rocky bottom here. Did you read my above about NS lobster new borns floating the currents down to Maine. thank you very much.
                        There is an article in today's Bangor Daily News that the Maine Lobsterman's Assn. is getting certification for lobsters as a renewable resource?
                        I didn't see the show and don't know what it's about.
                        How about soft shell vs hard shell? Now that's a worth while discussion.
                        See ya around neighbor,
                        Mark

                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                          I can't vouch for the US, just saying that lobster from Iles-de-la-Madeleine live in and are trapped in sandy areas from the ocean dropping sediments on the coast, while Gaspesie lobster live in rocky areas.

                          The point is, the eating habits of the lobster will influence the taste, just like with most other natural foods (grass vs milk vs grain fed; wine terroir; raw-milk cheese).

                          1. re: ScoobySnacks20

                            Read The Secret Life of Lobsters and you will see why lobsters avoid sandy bottom.

                      2. re: Geoff394

                        The editing was confusing as it seemed to cut off Ramsay's comment, but if the restaurant was advertising one thing and selling another, he does have a point. The difference is between the marketing and industrial approaches of the two industries. Canadian lobsters are harvested younger and are smaller and tend to be sweater as a result.

                        This is mostly due to the fact that Canada has a much bigger coastline than Maine alone and with government subsidies, can more than afford to do it.

                        But if you happen to be in a restaurant in PEI or Halifax, you're likely to get a huge lobster and the tastes are indistinguishable.

                      3. So are these guys still in business? If you google them, there's a website, dated recently, that mentions a restaurant going into the space where Black Pearl USED to be.

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: coney with everything

                          I'm confused (and obsessed). The web site has photos of the renovation that Gordon did but says the resto is on 26th Street. Wasn't it in Times Square?

                          1. re: southernitalian

                            They held the marketing event segment in Times Square.

                          2. re: coney with everything

                            That references BP on Union Street; the one on KN was on W 26th and is still there.

                            http://www.blackpearlonline.com/

                            1. re: OCAnn

                              Gotta say, the food looked pretty good BEFORE the makeover.When he said those mussels were too spicy, I said, "Bring it here". Aside from the disfunctional management team, that was the least of the "nightmares" he's seen. Speaking of disfunction, how about him buying that Bozo a wedding ring for his gilfriend and having the wedding that night? And making the teet jokes with his future father-in-law. Nice!

                              1. re: southernitalian

                                Yeah...I couldn't decide whether the wedding thing was thoughtful or presumptuous.

                                1. re: OCAnn

                                  I am a California Marriage Commissioner and can't figure out how that wedding was legal. I am sure all states require a marriage license. And to get one the couple must appear in person with photo ID or with power of attorney for the missing person. Anyone from New York have info on how to marry without a license?

                                  1. re: Janet

                                    Well you can't just get married as they did. I was wondering too, but I'm sure you have to get a license first. At least there's no blood test anymore!

                                    OK I had to look it up (it's been over 30 years since I got mine) you have to wait at least 24 hours after you get the license.

                                    1. re: coll

                                      You have to appear in person to sign for a marriage license in NY.

                                      1. re: phantomdoc

                                        I married Mrs. Doc on Oct 14th in Nassau County. Had to appear in person for license and wait 24 hours for ceremony.

                                2. re: southernitalian

                                  I hope they lived happily ever after, but the restaurant is alreay closed for good.
                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/565333

                                3. re: OCAnn

                                  Ah, thanks, NYC is a complete mystery to me.

                                  That is, BTW, one ugly website.

                                  1. re: coney with everything

                                    Yeah on the website. I wish there was a mention on how GR's visit affected the restaurant (if at all). Also wish that there was a thread on the Manhattan board re NYers experience at Black Pearl before & after...unfortunately, most of the relevant (juicy) stuff is from last year.

                                    1. re: coney with everything

                                      The new menu item Ramsey demonstrated on the episode is on the Black Pearl website under menus. As for the wedding, I thought it was incredibly odd but Dee Synder of Twisted Sister raffled off a motorcycle for charity, unrelated to another KN show...and last season Whoopie Goldberg had some odd cameo appearance on Ramsey's Hell's Kitchen....throwing in all sorts of "stuff" cause he can...

                                4. I really hope they weren't serious about the live lobster toy tank. I, and PETA, and lots of non-PETA folks would cry fowl.

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: slacker

                                    Was the live lobster tank a prop for the show only or did the tank stay after the KN show? Having never had the pleasure of eating at Black Pearl, I don't know.

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      Don't know, but even as a show prop, it was in bad taste.

                                      1. re: slacker

                                        slacker, if Kitchen Nightmare is about good taste, we're not watching the same program.

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          Kitchen Nightmares is about tv drama [edit: and comedy], and Gordon getting his ego on. But the lobster tank crossed the line.

                                          1. re: slacker

                                            slacker, I was "trying" to infuse humor-my bad. KN takes on a restaurant in need of help. Beyond that yes tv drama/reality show in its latest incarnation. No argument there.

                                      2. re: HillJ

                                        I remember a comedian referring to the lobster tank in a restaurant as Shellfish death row. To combine it with a carnival game is pretty funny too.

                                      3. re: slacker

                                        Slacker, following the near-unanimous criticism of PETA for recommending a couple days ago that Ben & Jerry's use just human milk, I hope they are beating a hasty retreat out of New England for a while: in reverse, as lobsters do.

                                        1. re: Veggo

                                          I'm not a PETA member, and I'm not saying I support everything that they are nor any extreme positions they take. I reference them as a reference to no cruelty to animals. I love eating lobster, hey it's all part of the food chain, but toying with them bothers me.

                                          1. re: slacker

                                            The lobster tank is just like the tank at the grocery store. You just pick out the one at the grocery store for sure death. The claw toy idea lets the Lobsters live. Have you ever played those claw toys? Nobody ever gets one of those prizes.

                                      4. I am from Newfoundland and have lived in Ellesworth Maine. I ate lobster extensively in both locations. Lobster from NFLD are generally larger much hard shells (you need tools) vs Maine has soft shells that you can manage with your hands. For taste, lobsters all taste different in diferent regions and even in neighbouring harbours. It of course depends on their environment and what they eat. To generalize I'd say Nfld lobster are a lot sweeter tasting. From my experience, the colder the water the better the taste. Again it maybe more related to the food they eat. There is a reason why cod whales and everything else come to feed off the Southeast coast of NFLD. It is the latitude where the atlantic ocean current finally resurfaces from the depths below all the way from south america (oceanography). The water is therefore bubbling up rich in nutrients which in turn raises good tasting seafood. Again keep in mind that some fishing grounds will neighbour soof course they should taste more alike. I personally have not had any Maine lobster that was not softshell, so I cannot comment otherwise.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: maxwise

                                          A lot of soft shells are sold here to maximize profit from visiting tourists. We eat hard shell usually brought from a buddy. I think the colder water + sweeter taste is bunk. Lobsters are VERY temperature sensetive and live only within certain very narrow thermoclines. The taste, I feel, is very, very subjective.
                                          What did you do in Ellsworth?

                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                            Just down the road from the hospital there where I worked. I still stand by my opinion, but let me clarify, seaafood in general that are found in colder climates compared to seafood species found in warmer climates are comparitely tastier. Sorry if I touched a cord but, all I can say is I enjoy the taste of the hardshell vs the softshell far better. The thermocline must have some variance as I am not sure that Maine recieves much of any of the Labrador current which is quite cold and runs around Nfld vs the warm gulf stream that flows past Maine towards NFLD southeast shore. It is that very contrasting temp gradient that causes all that foggy and bad wheather of it's southeast coast. I am not in the fishery nor have any interest in we vs they. I always choose fish when I am on a costal region as I now live in Ontario and miss fresh fish. So far after eating fish from Aruba, Mexico, Hawaii, and Bermuda, nothing compares to home seafood. Personal preference. The further North I go the better it tastes. I must say in Italy it was fantastic but I have no idea where it came from. Funny enough, Royal Caribbean was sailing out of San Juan to sail south but chose to sell Nova Scotia lobster. I was surprised as I figured that there must be a more close location to get lobster to serve on the ship.

                                            1. re: maxwise

                                              The Gulf of Maine IS the Labrador Current! That's why it is so cold and full of nutrients and was such a huge fecund ecosystem. The Gulf Steam goes off shore at Cape Cod and does not warm the Gulf of Maine. Agreed cold water makes yummy hard shells.
                                              We eat Homarus Americanis (sorry Canucks). i used to live in Norway and used to eat a subspecie,Homarus Norwegianius (?). It too lived in cold water. I remember no difference in flavor.
                                              Go Maple Leafs!

                                        2. Candian lobsters are a little sweeter, and harder shells because the water is colder, but lobsters from Canada or Maine are still wonderful...

                                          1. My problem with the whole thing is he just had to look at them to know they weren't Maine lobsters. Ummm, where they wearing Roots outfits with a maple leaf on the claw mitts? How can you tell just by looking at them?

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: maisonbistro

                                              All seafood has to have a tag of origin for the EPA, at least in NY, but since it's only a TV show who knows?

                                              1. re: phantomdoc

                                                Why would you watch the hockey game in the front yard?

                                                1. re: porker

                                                  Sorry, it was in Tin Hortens! What the puck!

                                              2. I guess INS is too busy policing the Rio Grande to check the passports of lobsters sneaking across the trench...maybe we need ANOTHER wall....

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                  regardless of the possible diffrences of subtle taste between those two, i found outer surface of canadian lobster has slightly diffrent tone of color. i have never eaten the maine lobsters but my subjective visual comparison from the photo and videos of Main lobster seems to validate that those two almost same but that doesnt mean its entierly same.
                                                  if the possible outer diffrence of those two lobsters that i have mentioned are not to be considered critically, what is all the fuss about red and blue king crab distintion in north west coast.
                                                  those two crabs also live in the ocean which is not isolated.
                                                  even though north east coast around canada-and-usa border is open ocean each other, i think that doesnt mean they are the entirely same.
                                                  i do not trust my local fish seller's advice that canadian lobsters are superior to the lobsters from usa, but i belive they are not totally same each other, at least not in terms of taste.

                                                  1. re: hae young

                                                    You can catch two lobsters in the same pot with different color variations (yellow, Blue etc). That doesn't mean they are different species. There is no correlation between the Canadian Lobster Vs US and the Red Vs Blue Vs Golden King Crab. Blue Kings have much larger claws. Goldens are much smaller in physical size. Maine and Canadian Lobsters are the same. Blue Kings are so close to Reds they are often sold as Reds and I've seen Blues at Costco many times in the past being sold as Reds.
                                                    The areas where some of the crab species you are talking about are separated by a fairly vast amount of ocean in some cases Vs Maine and Canada which share a direct border. The only Canadian lobster you might split a hair over is the PEI's which can have smaller claws.

                                                    1. re: Fritter

                                                      in my region red king crab is little pricier than blue king crab. if my local fish monger sell blue king crab as red's, i probably feel decived.

                                                      1. re: hae young

                                                        Red King Crabs are no "better" than Blues and Reds are more common so IMO it's silly to pay more for Reds.
                                                        In most cases your not going to gain any valid experience viewing video or photos on Google etc.
                                                        In either event at the end of your bisque threads you seem to have given up stating lobsters were overly expensive. If you think Lobsters are out of reach in the lowest price season I can even recall you can forget about live King Crabs no matter what color they are.

                                                2. I really like Gordon Ramsay but he went overboard here. There's really no big difference in lobsters from Maine to Canada -- but that's just *my* opinion (but an educated opinion, having eaten more than my share of lobsters).

                                                  A coda about The Black Pearl - in its original incarnation those people had no business being in the restaurant business in New York City - it takes passion and hard work and the three owners seemed to be capable of neither.

                                                  1. Just saw this episode last night for the first time. What also interested me was the debate between Ramsay and the obnoxious of the 3 owners, David. Ramsay complained the Maine lobster roll was bland and everything should be seasoned with salt and pepper. David said no seasonings are added in Maine and Ramsay scoffed and said they have salt in Maine and he lived there for 3 months so he knows. I was born and raised in Maine and worked at a high volume seafood restaurant in the Portland area for many, many summers during high school, college and grad school. Our lobster roll consisted of fresh, roughly chopped tails, knuckles, and claws. Mayonnaise. Done. No salt, pepper, celery or lettuce, and that is the way all the rolls in that area were at the time (I'm talking 15-20 years ago).

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: jackbauer

                                                      And that is the way god intended an lobster roll to be. Lobster, the other white meat; what else does one need?
                                                      Keg

                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                        Catfish?
                                                        {:-/)

                                                        1. re: porker

                                                          Funny regional difference. My students catch catfish by the bucket and sell it to lobstermen for lobster bait. No appreciation of catfish up here, just land locked salmon and smelt! Wicked good, Cappy!

                                                      2. re: jackbauer

                                                        Mayonaise has different levels of salt from brand to brand. The stuff you buy in the store even has a little sugar in it. If it's underseasoned, it's underseasoned. Maybe they weren't salting the water they boiled their lobsters in either.

                                                      3. If they taste the same and look the same, why would you fudge the origin in the first place? If there is a price difference they are just being greedy buying cheap and charging for a more expensive grade (even if they taste as good), or if there is a perception from the public that Maine is better the owners are just showing they are willing to lie to their customers.

                                                        9 Replies
                                                        1. re: Tallyfoodfan

                                                          Just know that if someone advertises a 5 lb. (or larger) Maine lobster, they are lying to you. Approx 3.5 labs is the upper size limit in Maine. It is a conservation issue; 10% of the largest lobster do 90% of the breading.

                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                            ive seen bigger (6to 8pounders )come out of maine waters.

                                                            1. re: howlin

                                                              So have I but they are illegal and if caught, the lobsterman is fined. I've seen egg bearing females too. The point is, not that they don't exist, but if one sees a 5 pounder "Maine lobster" advertised in a Resto, you can bet that it did not come from Maine, but Canada or Mass/NH.
                                                              ps Portland Or. is named AFTER Portland Maine.

                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                catching isnt illegal,its keeping them that gets the fines ,and by the way i was joking about the portland thing

                                                            2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                              Most of the "bad boy" lobsters above 5 lbs I have enjoyed, e.g. @ Rosewood Grill in LV, The Palm (everywhere) and Palm Too (midtown), advertise them as from Nova Scotia. It's hard to check the birth records.
                                                              As for 10% of the largest doing 90% of the breeding, I make no connection whatsoever between your brood and your belt size, so don't be sensitive, Passa.

                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                Stop howlin!
                                                                The KEG

                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                  About your 10/90 percent rule, we have a saying here on the Texas gulf coast, 10 percent of the the fisherman catch 90 percent of the fish. I, fortunately, am in the 10 percenters, but we'll see how this year works out. I never take anything for granted.

                                                                  1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                    What the hake? Good luck to ya, just for the halibut!

                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                      No halibut down here. We went today and for only the second time in 23 trips, ( I keep notes), I didn't bring home something to eat. The good thing is nobody else caught any keepers. We caught a couple of small speckled trout and sharks, and oh yeah, a six foot shark swam about 20 feet away from my friend. Talk about a pucker factor, we're wading six hundred yards from shore, nothing left to do but keep fishing.

                                                          2. Didn't see it posted yet in the thread, but here are two links that provide a bit of epilogue for Gordon Ramsay and the Curse of the Black Pearl:

                                                            http://ny.eater.com/archives/2008/09/...

                                                            http://ny.eater.com/archives/2008/10/...

                                                            1. I must have watched a repeat...but I was very disappointed with Gordon Ramsay when I saw him say the Canadian lobster is shit...Is he dumb?...i think so...check your geography loser. Maine, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia all share the same water...so for Ramsay to put down the Canadian lobster is absurd and ignorant. But what do you expect from a man who gets off on calling people names and humiliating them on international television. It's juvenile...but I guess if he didn't show what a small minded person he was every week, no one would watch him. By the way...Bay of Fundy Lobster are the BEST!!!

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: Flyonthewall

                                                                Fly, I agree on all points, except Frenchman's Bay, Maine, have the edge because I get them for free!

                                                                1. re: Flyonthewall

                                                                  I don't believe he ever said Canadian lobster was shit.

                                                                  I think the issue is more around what was being advertised vs. what was being delivered. It is false advertising to say that they were serving Maine lobster when they weren't. Period. It doesn't matter which is better - it matters that you tell the truth about your ingredients. That allows the consumer to be confident in the provenance and quality of everything served, as well as in the chef's and server's knowledge of those ingredients.

                                                                  When I ate at Ramsay's 3 Michelin star restaurant, everything was transparent. We were shown into the kitchen to meet the chef. We were told where each ingredient was grown/farmed/harvested/killed. They could tell us what the animals were fed. Everything was open to us, and that gave us confidence in the staff and in the food. It's a big deal to Ramsay, and I applaud him for pointing out that you need to be truthful with your customers.

                                                                  And have you ever met him? It surprises me that you would insult someone who is obviously playing a character on TV. According to his restaurant staff, he's actually quite a nice guy to work with and for. Don't believe the edit. Seriously. Especially when it's Fox. :-)

                                                                  1. re: Flyonthewall

                                                                    Fly, I don't care for Gordo very much either, but it is simply a case of mislabling, for whatever reason. I find the extreme tides make the Fundy lobster's meat tough. I much prefer Frenchman's Bay lobster. The French influence adds flavor and panache and I get them for free.

                                                                  2. In spain a canadian lobster is a "bogavante" and a maine lobster is a "langosta". Two animals completly diferents.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Celebestel

                                                                      A very bad error in translation. In Latin, both are Hommarus Americanus, the same animal. Not all the same as a Spanish tortilla and a Mexican one (flour or corn?).

                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                        Yeah, she's thinking of European Lobster, Hommarus Gommarus.

                                                                        1. re: sbp

                                                                          In Norway, one can only buy Hommarus Americanus cooked, not live. It is more aggressive than the Gommrus and drives it out of it's own territory. One very big difference is the price. In Norway, the price is per gram and Maine per pound. when my Norwegian friends visit us in Maine they GORGE on lobster because it is comparitively so cheap.

                                                                    2. I wouldn't be surprised if there are subtle differences in taste based on what the lobsters eat, their size, the temperature of the water they grow in, etc. But, they are all the same species and who is to say that a Maine lobster that had been chowing down on some rotting dead fish would taste better than a Canadian lobster? I think it is food snobbery to think that lobsters, which migrate, all of a sudden taste better if they get caught on one side of the maritime border than the other. Apparently the biggest taste difference can come from whether they are soft-shell or not...or, even more importantly, how they are cooked! I agree that Gordon Ramsay was pretty pompous in claiming he could tell a Canadian from a Maine Lobster. What he probably did was read the box they were in! I believe he was most concerned that it is a fraud to claim they were Maine lobsters when they were not. It is still a fraud even if there were no taste difference at all.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: olen1009

                                                                        Bringing back a Thread from the past. I am wondering if you can tell by looking at the lobster, not the label. I used to be confused about Atlantic Salmon farm raised.

                                                                        1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                          We live on the coast of Maine, very close to the shores of Canada, the same bottom, temps. and food. The lobsters caught in Downeast, Maine were born in Canada and follow the counterclockwise currents in the Gulf of Maine into Maine. Maine lobster even gets shipped to New Brunswick for processing. Only diff,. as 1009 states, is soft shell and hard shell and cooking time.
                                                                          This even makes me dislike Gordon Ramsey even more, if that is even possible.
                                                                          ps doc, they look identical, the same species. The border is arbitrary. Before 1763, my house would have been in Quebec, not Maine. Hmmmm, what a pleasant thought....

                                                                      2. There was a Canadian Lobster challenge on Iron Chef America recently. I didn't really get anything on the show that distinguished it from Maine Lobster.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: lenwood

                                                                          On the show, Alton Brown explains the difference:
                                                                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UanDdF...

                                                                        2. While I have all of you lobster experts gathered here, maybe you can answer this: My local supermarket had "North Atlantic Lobster Tails" on sale this weekend, but when I went, they were just big rock lobster tails, from what I could tell. Are there rock lobsters ups there or what? I was hoping it was a new merchandising product and I could make a quick lobster salad for myself.

                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                            No rock lobster. I'm wracking my meager brain. None in Us, or Canada. Been to Iceland, nope. Lived in Norway, only the gomerus. I think the same for the UK & Ireland.
                                                                            We've moved to New Mexico for the winter and rock lobster tails were on sale for $4.95/lb. I just can't bring myself to buy them. I gotta get over it. Would a lobster by any other name taste as sweet? (God damned English teacher!.)

                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                              Thanks, that's what I thought. Maybe they just process them up there. I should call this grocery chain and talk to their buyer to see what's up! Rock lobster meat tastes tougher to me, flavorless, but maybe because of the seafood chain I worked at for several years. Never saw the fascination.

                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                Maybe if we cook them like crawdads or in a curry sauce.

                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                  Curry sauce hides a multitude of sins!

                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                    I am the mentor of a wonderful young Navajo English teacher. He will visit us in Maine this summer. I will take him out on one of my former student's lobster boats for a day and let him fill bait bags. (Bait bags get filled w/ rotten salt fish.)
                                                                                    Then a lobster feed.

                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                      Now that is envy worthy! Wow.

                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                        That's really something, sounds like something my Dad would do... but anyway, I'm still trying to figure out why New Mexico in the winter? I found it freakin cold as heck in the winter (Albuquerque), but then again I'm from the Bay Area.

                                                                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                          To paraphrase HD Thoreau; Snow, Snow Snow.
                                                                                          There is nearly 4' of snow in my yard in Maine. Sixty five degrees and sunny in NM. I own 7 acres surrounded by Nat'l Forest.
                                                                                          I prefer the NM cuisine to that of New England. How much lobster can one eat?
                                                                                          It is funny though how I've grown to expect lobster is North Atlantic lobster and disdain the rock lobster tail. I gotta get over it. I need to ask for recipes on the HCB.

                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                            4 ft! oh okay. Your land sounds amazing, it is a beautiful area as well.

                                                                                            How much lobster could one eat? I don't know but I'd sure love to try finding out!

                                                                                            1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                              My students would weekly bring me in a 5 gal bucket of lobbers.

                                                                              2. re: coll

                                                                                North Atlantic technically just means that part of the Atlantic north of the equator. Chances are, this tail came from the Bahamas. There are multiple species of spiny lobster fished throughout the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and Mediterranean. I find they all taste essentially the same. I would never buy one here in New England, but I think they taste great consumed in situ. Fresh out of tropical waters, their flavor is strong, though not nearly as sweet as the American Lobster. Sold as a frozen tail far from their home, I find them bland. You also miss out on the best part this way, as the tomalley of the spiny lobster is even better than that of the American Lobster, and there is a lot more of it.

                                                                                1. re: gadfly

                                                                                  Thanks, now I understand.

                                                                              3. As someone who has lived in Maine, I can tell you that there is very little if any difference between Maine and Canadian lobster. "Maine Lobster" is just another name for the American lobster, which can be found all along the mid-northern American coast. "Canadian" lobster is only cheaper because it doesn't have the cachet associated with the name "Maine Lobster." I love Ramsey, but I must say that in this case he is full of it. The obnoxious owner was, in this case, right. They are the same species.

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: ropeadope

                                                                                  Thanks ropeadope!

                                                                                  1. re: ropeadope

                                                                                    And Canadian lobbers are subsidized by the Canuck Gommernt, that's why they are cheaper and redder!

                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                      Redder? You mean they're COMMIE lobsters? Still taste OK, as long as they aren't soft shell.

                                                                                      1. re: sbp

                                                                                        Yes, cut rate, subsidized socialist Canadian lobsters make it tough on local Maine lobstermen. They tast the same, bit one is Redder!

                                                                                  2. Depending on where the canadian lobster is caught, if it was from the west coast of Nova Scotia its the same lobster as Maine as well as Bay of Funday lobster. However if the lobster is from warmer shalower water for example east coast New brunswick and PEI then the lobster is a softer shell and isnt as full or meaty as the other deeper colder water lobster. These lobsters are smaller and tend to have a more saltier taste then the Maine or Bay of Funday lobster as well as cheaper in price

                                                                                     
                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: SkipperJacks

                                                                                      Interesting. "The Maine license is the only license wih a dead animal on it." "The Maine Lisence Plate Song"

                                                                                      1. re: SkipperJacks

                                                                                        This is not true lobsters shed every year and soft shells are generally availalble in the begining to mid summer when they move into the shore regions to spawn and feed.

                                                                                      2. There is NO difference, at a time when the Canadian Dollar was low, it was more economical, that is all. The soft shells come from molting, that is when the lobster grows and sheds it's shell. They are soft, it happens to every shellfish.
                                                                                        The American lobster, Homarus americanus, is a species of lobster found on the Atlantic coast of North America, chiefly from Labrador to New Jersey. Within North America, it is also known as the northern lobster or Maine lobster. It can reach a body length of 64 cm (25 in), and a mass of over 20 kilograms (44 lb), making it the heaviest crustacean in the world. Its closest relative is the European lobster Homarus gammarus, which can be distinguished by its coloration and the lack of spines on the underside of the rostrum. American lobsters are usually bluish green to brown with red spines, but a number of color variations have been observed.

                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Chefzon

                                                                                          So......... Can Ramsey tell from looking at the bug that is is from Canada or Maine?

                                                                                          1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                                            Maybe on the underside of the Cdn lobster there's a small sticker that says: "Made in Canada, eh !" ;-)

                                                                                            I also watched that show (I watch all KN episodes), and IMO regardless how how different (or same) the two species might taste, Ramsay's point was about false advertizing. Sure it was overly dramatic, but that owner David sure was a [blank]-head just for his attitude alone.

                                                                                            1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                              They taste the same, only a Canadian lobster tends to be 500 grams and drinks stronger beer...

                                                                                              1. re: porker

                                                                                                Isn't it Canadian "loob-ster" ? ;-)

                                                                                              2. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                Really, this was manufactured drama. I don't see Kentucky Fried Chicken being sued for false advertising because it's not made in Kentucky. Maine Lobster is the colloquial name for Homarus Americanus. Plain as that.

                                                                                                1. re: sbp

                                                                                                  Well there is a key difference there. KFC (& Sanders) never claimed their chickens only originate from Kentucky, neither before or after Sanders' chicken was sold outside the KY stateline. In fact, the very first restaurant branded with the name Kentucky Fried Chicken was in Salt Lake City, Utah which opened in 1952 as a collaborative effort between Harland Sanders and Pete Harman of SLC.

                                                                                                  1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                    Well, it's been so long since I saw the Ramsay explosion, but my recollection is the representation was "Maine Lobster", not "Maine Lobster that comes from Maine." To me, the analogy is apt. KFC is a style of chicken, Maine Lobster is a style/species of Lobster. Neither connotes place of origin.

                                                                                          2. There is no difference in Maine and Canadian lobsters they are the same species. As far as the qualitly is concerned the more local to the source the better. The issue mainly with this is the fact that Maine lobster is prized because of the fact of that overtime Canada and U.S have been in competition in the fishing industry for years and the Canadian lobster fisheries mainly the processing plants have forced the prices to drop/ and or caused the "boat price" for the lobstermen to severely decrease mainly due to price gouging. I know this because my fiance lobstered, her grandfather lobstered, and I live in Maine. Thus said American lobstermen are losing out on money from lobsters they caught due to Canadian processing plants, thus "Canadian" lobster is looked down upon.

                                                                                            1. there is no "distinction" - it's just TV. same species, same lobster.

                                                                                              1. I think the issue was not the taste, but more that the owners were selling Canadian lobster for Maine prices, and advertised as Maine. Also, in a follow-up episode, they state that Black Pearl is out of business, and a BBQ joint is in the location now.

                                                                                                Also, as someone who was introduced to the original BBC version first, I have to say that the Fox version of KN comes across as far more scripted and a lot less genuine - the BBC version has the same basic formula, but hasn't had a massive dose of American cheesiness piled on top.

                                                                                                1. The show is on right now, and will be on again Friday, August 8th at 2 pm cdt on Direct TV, BBC America.