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Kitchen Nightmare 9/25 Maine vs Canadian Lobster?

phantomdoc Sep 25, 2008 07:12 PM

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

  1. chinkymonkey Sep 25, 2008 07:28 PM

    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. p
      Plankwalker Sep 25, 2008 07:45 PM

      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. t
        terrylab Sep 25, 2008 08:04 PM

        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. porker Sep 25, 2008 08:05 PM

          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
            Passadumkeg Sep 26, 2008 07:31 AM

            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
              Fritter Aug 4, 2009 04:49 AM

              "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
                Passadumkeg Aug 4, 2009 07:08 AM

                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
                  Fritter Aug 4, 2009 07:14 AM

                  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
                    phantomdoc Aug 4, 2009 07:27 AM

                    Fairway on long island has big ones for $5/lb. this week. 4-6 lb.

                    1. re: phantomdoc
                      Fritter Aug 4, 2009 07:29 AM

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

                      1. re: Fritter
                        Passadumkeg Aug 4, 2009 12:51 PM

                        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
                          FrankD Oct 16, 2009 07:34 PM

                          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
                            Passadumkeg Oct 17, 2009 04:35 AM

                            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
                              FrankD Oct 17, 2009 08:55 PM

                              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
                                howlin Apr 5, 2010 09:44 PM

                                portland oregon ?never heard of west coast bugs

                                1. re: howlin
                                  coll Apr 6, 2010 04:45 AM

                                  I would assume Portland Maine.

                2. re: Fritter
                  sbp Aug 4, 2009 10:06 AM

                  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. g
              Geoff394 Sep 25, 2008 11:22 PM

              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
                Janet Sep 25, 2008 11:46 PM

                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
                  HillJ Sep 26, 2008 06:16 AM

                  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
                    dorian Sep 26, 2008 06:24 PM

                    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
                      mpalmer6c Sep 27, 2008 07:48 PM

                      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
                      ScoobySnacks20 Sep 26, 2008 01:49 PM

                      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
                        Passadumkeg Sep 26, 2008 02:44 PM

                        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,

                        1. re: Passadumkeg
                          ScoobySnacks20 Oct 7, 2008 09:32 AM

                          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
                            Passadumkeg Aug 4, 2009 07:10 AM

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

                      2. re: Geoff394
                        Geoff394 Feb 23, 2010 07:47 PM

                        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. coney with everything Sep 26, 2008 05:16 AM

                        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
                          southernitalian Sep 26, 2008 07:15 AM

                          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
                            HillJ Sep 26, 2008 07:44 AM

                            They held the marketing event segment in Times Square.

                          2. re: coney with everything
                            OCAnn Sep 26, 2008 10:01 AM

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


                            1. re: OCAnn
                              southernitalian Sep 26, 2008 10:50 AM

                              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
                                OCAnn Sep 26, 2008 10:52 AM

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

                                1. re: OCAnn
                                  Janet Sep 26, 2008 08:32 PM

                                  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
                                    coll Sep 27, 2008 01:55 AM

                                    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
                                      phantomdoc Sep 27, 2008 07:21 AM

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

                                      1. re: phantomdoc
                                        phantomdoc Oct 24, 2008 12:19 PM

                                        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
                                  stuartlafonda Oct 29, 2008 02:51 PM

                                  I hope they lived happily ever after, but the restaurant is alreay closed for good.

                                3. re: OCAnn
                                  coney with everything Sep 26, 2008 10:52 AM

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

                                  That is, BTW, one ugly website.

                                  1. re: coney with everything
                                    OCAnn Sep 26, 2008 10:56 AM

                                    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
                                      HillJ Sep 26, 2008 10:57 AM

                                      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. s
                                  slacker Sep 26, 2008 01:53 PM

                                  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
                                    HillJ Sep 26, 2008 02:36 PM

                                    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
                                      slacker Sep 26, 2008 03:28 PM

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

                                      1. re: slacker
                                        HillJ Sep 26, 2008 03:40 PM

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

                                        1. re: HillJ
                                          slacker Sep 26, 2008 03:42 PM

                                          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
                                            HillJ Sep 26, 2008 03:57 PM

                                            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
                                        phantomdoc Sep 27, 2008 07:23 AM

                                        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
                                        Veggo Sep 26, 2008 04:12 PM

                                        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
                                          slacker Sep 26, 2008 04:35 PM

                                          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
                                            chinkymonkey Sep 26, 2008 09:55 PM

                                            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. m
                                        maxwise Sep 27, 2008 07:10 PM

                                        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
                                          Passadumkeg Sep 28, 2008 04:49 PM

                                          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
                                            maxwise Sep 28, 2008 05:15 PM

                                            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
                                              Passadumkeg Sep 28, 2008 07:11 PM

                                              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. i
                                          irwin Sep 28, 2008 06:34 AM

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

                                          1. m
                                            maisonbistro Sep 28, 2008 07:49 PM

                                            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
                                              coll Sep 28, 2008 11:01 PM

                                              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
                                                porker Sep 29, 2008 01:51 PM

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

                                                1. re: porker
                                                  Passadumkeg Sep 29, 2008 03:35 PM

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

                                              2. Veggo Sep 29, 2008 06:59 AM

                                                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
                                                  hae young Aug 4, 2009 04:05 AM

                                                  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
                                                    Fritter Aug 4, 2009 04:59 AM

                                                    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
                                                      hae young Aug 4, 2009 06:13 AM

                                                      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
                                                        Fritter Aug 4, 2009 06:19 AM

                                                        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. shaogo Aug 4, 2009 07:22 AM

                                                  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. j
                                                    jackbauer Jan 7, 2010 01:57 PM

                                                    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
                                                      Passadumkeg Jan 7, 2010 02:01 PM

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

                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                        porker Jan 8, 2010 02:58 AM


                                                        1. re: porker
                                                          Passadumkeg Jan 8, 2010 04:20 AM

                                                          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
                                                        dmckean Aug 13, 2010 12:57 PM

                                                        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. t
                                                        Tallyfoodfan Apr 4, 2010 01:10 PM

                                                        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
                                                          Passadumkeg Apr 5, 2010 10:31 AM

                                                          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
                                                            howlin Apr 5, 2010 09:54 PM

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

                                                            1. re: howlin
                                                              Passadumkeg Apr 6, 2010 09:45 AM

                                                              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
                                                                howlin Aug 13, 2010 12:14 PM

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

                                                            2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                              Veggo Apr 6, 2010 11:24 AM

                                                              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
                                                                Passadumkeg Apr 6, 2010 03:15 PM

                                                                Stop howlin!
                                                                The KEG

                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                  James Cristinian Apr 6, 2010 06:37 PM

                                                                  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
                                                                    Passadumkeg Apr 7, 2010 02:41 AM

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

                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                      James Cristinian Jun 18, 2010 05:17 PM

                                                                      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. s
                                                            stet Apr 5, 2010 06:17 AM

                                                            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:



                                                            1. f
                                                              Flyonthewall Jun 18, 2010 08:56 AM

                                                              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
                                                                Passadumkeg Jun 18, 2010 09:22 AM

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

                                                                1. re: Flyonthewall
                                                                  guster4lovers Aug 15, 2010 01:26 AM

                                                                  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
                                                                    Passadumkeg Aug 15, 2010 04:40 AM

                                                                    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. c
                                                                    Celebestel Aug 13, 2010 09:01 AM

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

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Celebestel
                                                                      Passadumkeg Aug 14, 2010 08:36 AM

                                                                      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
                                                                        sbp Aug 14, 2010 08:39 AM

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

                                                                        1. re: sbp
                                                                          Passadumkeg Aug 14, 2010 08:54 AM

                                                                          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. o
                                                                      olen1009 Feb 13, 2011 07:40 PM

                                                                      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
                                                                        phantomdoc Feb 15, 2011 10:07 AM

                                                                        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
                                                                          Passadumkeg Feb 15, 2011 11:04 AM

                                                                          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. l
                                                                        lenwood Feb 15, 2011 11:46 AM

                                                                        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
                                                                          ahack Feb 16, 2011 04:13 AM

                                                                          On the show, Alton Brown explains the difference:

                                                                        2. coll Feb 16, 2011 03:32 AM

                                                                          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
                                                                            Passadumkeg Feb 16, 2011 04:15 AM

                                                                            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
                                                                              coll Feb 16, 2011 04:41 AM

                                                                              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
                                                                                Passadumkeg Feb 16, 2011 04:51 AM

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

                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                  coll Feb 16, 2011 05:03 AM

                                                                                  Curry sauce hides a multitude of sins!

                                                                                  1. re: coll
                                                                                    Passadumkeg Feb 16, 2011 06:11 AM

                                                                                    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
                                                                                      HillJ Feb 16, 2011 06:49 AM

                                                                                      Now that is envy worthy! Wow.

                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                        chef chicklet Feb 16, 2011 07:25 AM

                                                                                        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
                                                                                          Passadumkeg Feb 16, 2011 08:43 AM

                                                                                          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
                                                                                            chef chicklet Feb 16, 2011 03:16 PM

                                                                                            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
                                                                                              Passadumkeg Feb 16, 2011 08:04 PM

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

                                                                              2. re: coll
                                                                                gadfly Feb 16, 2011 07:39 AM

                                                                                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
                                                                                  coll Feb 16, 2011 06:51 PM

                                                                                  Thanks, now I understand.

                                                                              3. r
                                                                                ropeadope Sep 20, 2011 09:28 PM

                                                                                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
                                                                                  phantomdoc Sep 25, 2011 11:12 AM

                                                                                  Thanks ropeadope!

                                                                                  1. re: ropeadope
                                                                                    Passadumkeg Sep 25, 2011 04:41 PM

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

                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                      sbp Sep 25, 2011 05:15 PM

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

                                                                                      1. re: sbp
                                                                                        Passadumkeg Dec 13, 2011 09:42 AM

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

                                                                                  2. s
                                                                                    SkipperJacks Nov 30, 2011 05:57 AM

                                                                                    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
                                                                                      Passadumkeg Dec 13, 2011 09:46 AM

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

                                                                                      1. re: SkipperJacks
                                                                                        RocklandChef Jun 25, 2012 08:07 PM

                                                                                        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. c
                                                                                        Chefzon Mar 27, 2012 10:16 PM

                                                                                        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
                                                                                          phantomdoc Jun 5, 2012 02:40 PM

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

                                                                                          1. re: phantomdoc
                                                                                            LotusRapper Jun 6, 2012 07:59 AM

                                                                                            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
                                                                                              porker Jun 6, 2012 11:37 AM

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

                                                                                              1. re: porker
                                                                                                LotusRapper Jun 6, 2012 12:11 PM

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

                                                                                              2. re: LotusRapper
                                                                                                sbp Jun 6, 2012 12:31 PM

                                                                                                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
                                                                                                  LotusRapper Jun 6, 2012 01:51 PM

                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                    sbp Jun 6, 2012 05:35 PM

                                                                                                    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. r
                                                                                            RocklandChef Jun 25, 2012 08:04 PM

                                                                                            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. l
                                                                                              lifeasbinge Jun 27, 2012 09:09 PM

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

                                                                                              1. b
                                                                                                BuckeyeFoodie Aug 7, 2012 04:02 PM

                                                                                                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. j
                                                                                                  James Cristinian Aug 7, 2012 05:14 PM

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

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