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I heard that lobster is inexpensive now

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the pontificator Oct 23, 2008 03:30 PM

True?

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  1. scubadoo97 RE: the pontificator Oct 23, 2008 03:41 PM

    if you're from Maine maybe

    1. l
      lvanleer RE: the pontificator Oct 23, 2008 05:54 PM

      I heard today that you can find in around $6/lb in the DC area and around $3/lb in Maine.

      1. johnb RE: the pontificator Oct 23, 2008 06:22 PM

        I was just up in Maine, and the word was that this time of year they've all recently molted and are thus "watery" and not as desirable as at other times. Maybe this is why??? I don't know. We had some and it tasted fine to me, but I don't get lobster all that much to make informed comparisons.

        8 Replies
        1. re: johnb
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          PrincessBakesALot RE: johnb Oct 23, 2008 07:15 PM

          Demand is way down, driving the prices down. Lots of fishermen in MA are in trouble with diesel fuel so high and wholesale prices under $4/pound.
          I drove by a market today that had 2 lobsters for $9.99, and they'll cook them.

          1. re: PrincessBakesALot
            Cade RE: PrincessBakesALot Oct 24, 2008 05:22 AM

            When the stock market "tanked" a few weeks ago, US demand for lobsters fell. Because the US doesn't have most of a processing industry for lobsters (most are sold live by US lobster companies), there is not an outlet for the over-abundant supply of lobster. Normally, Canadian processors buy and cook the excess supply in a situation like this, but many were tied to Icelandic banks, which have collapsed in the financial crisis.

            So yes, demand is down and the supply of live lobsters is up. I run FishEx Seafoods, and have been thinking that this may be a good time to get into the lobster business.

          2. re: johnb
            JMF RE: johnb Oct 24, 2008 05:43 AM

            Up here in Maine, softshells, recently molted, are in season all summer and fall. They always sell a bit cheaper than the hard shells. There is less meat, but they are not watery. Whoever said that doesn't know what they are talking about. many people like them better,. Some say they are sweeter. I'm not sure I agree, but they are a lot easier to eat.

            1. re: JMF
              MGZ RE: JMF Oct 24, 2008 07:59 AM

              I think people call them "watery" because that is how the new shell lobsters turn out when boiled. If you steam or grill them, you will have a much better result.

              1. re: JMF
                alkapal RE: JMF Oct 24, 2008 04:03 PM

                jmf, don't those softshell lobsters have googly eyes? like with your blog's halloween idea? cute. it made me think of these other googly eyes: http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Liv...

                thanks for the tip on good lobster for the price. i'm expecting a lobster dinner when i win a little bet.

                1. re: alkapal
                  JMF RE: alkapal Oct 26, 2008 02:49 AM

                  Thanks for pointing out the googly eyes on Slashfood. I was so busy at the winery the past few days I missed that. I'm not sure if that SLN skit was funny or just plain scary. All good food and scary plants have googly eyes. Are the lobsters and ferns going to gang up on us?
                  http://www.slashfood.com/2008/10/24/e...

                2. re: JMF
                  johnb RE: JMF Oct 26, 2008 06:37 PM

                  The guy who told me they were "watery" was the fellow behind the counter at Young's Lobster Pound in Belfast, Maine.

                  1. re: johnb
                    JMF RE: johnb Oct 27, 2008 05:17 AM

                    Soft shell lobsters are 'watery' in that the shells have space in them, so they have excess water in there if boiled, but the meat itself isn't watery. It's nice and tender if cooked properly. They need a shorter cooking time than hard shells. If steamed you don't have water pouring out of the shells when you crack them open, and so they are not watery.

                    The guy at Young's should have been a bit more specific, but may not know any better. Working at a pound, selling lobsters, doesn't mean you know everything about them or how to cook them.

                    Even being a 'lobsterman' doesn't make you an expert on lobsters, just on catching them. Many folks in the business are just seasonal or short term workers.

              2. porker RE: the pontificator Oct 23, 2008 08:08 PM

                Saw a report on TV, but only caught a bit. Last item covered by the narrator: "Bologna is now more expensive than lobster."

                1. s
                  shaebones RE: the pontificator Oct 23, 2008 10:57 PM

                  Paid $3.99/lb at MB last week and $2.40/lb on the coast in Maine 2 weeks ago.

                  1. JMF RE: the pontificator Oct 24, 2008 05:48 AM

                    Due to the economy scares less lobster is being bought by the big processing plants who buy 99% of the lobster. So the boat price is around $1.50 or less a lb. The retail price at lobster pounds is $2.49-$3.49 up here in Maine. Supermarkets are asking around $5.99lb.

                    Expect the prices to rise soon. It isn't worth it for the lobster fishermen to even go out at this price since they are getting $1 or less for them from the wholesale buyers. The lobstermen are talking about only setting out half as many traps and going out only a few days a week because the low price plus high gas cost, is killing them. I have a friend who lost $1500 in one day last week do to the low prices.

                    That said, I have had more lobster the past few weeks than the total since I moved to Maine 18 months ago. I've bought more than I can eat to support my friends in the business. So buy as much as you can right now befoe the price goes back up.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: JMF
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                      pollymerase RE: JMF Oct 24, 2008 07:43 AM

                      But do the price declines translate outside of Maine/other coastal lobster areas? Will I be able to buy lobster at a lower price in Kansas City?

                      1. re: JMF
                        g
                        GK in SO RE: JMF Oct 24, 2008 12:52 PM

                        Yeah, what Polly asked...I live way out here in sunny California.

                        Any CA hounds know what lobster prices out here are doing lately?

                      2. MGZ RE: the pontificator Oct 24, 2008 07:57 AM

                        I live on the New Jersey shore. My local fish market (Point Lobster Company, for interested locals) has been selling "new" shell lobsters for $3.99 a pound for at least the last 3-4 weeks. I was there this morning and the price was still the same. Generally, they are all in the 1 -1 1/2 lb. range.

                        (On the other hand, I paid $12.99 for local scallops.)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MGZ
                          j
                          James Cristinian RE: MGZ Oct 25, 2008 06:11 PM

                          It's all relative. I paid 8.99 at Super H Mart in Houston six weeks ago. I'm going to check it again, 8.99 is actually good for around here, less is better. Was just in San Antonio this week, gas at major places 2.39, cheapies 2.22. In Houston I saw 2.39 today without too much exploration. Get it while you can, lobsters and gas.

                        2. CindyJ RE: the pontificator Oct 26, 2008 02:35 PM

                          I paid $6.99/lb for liveMaine lobsters yesterday at Shop Rite supermarket in West Chester, PA. That's their regular price, though, not a sale price. The Philly Inquirer had an article in today's paper about the declining prices of lobster.

                          1. b
                            breakfastfan RE: the pontificator Oct 26, 2008 03:11 PM

                            In central Massachusetts I paid 4.99 for select which are 1.25-1.50lbs. They were soft shelled, but they still made for terrific lazy lobster pie.
                            Oh, and the chix size ( 1-1.25lbs) were 4.49.

                            1. mrsleny RE: the pontificator Oct 26, 2008 05:16 PM

                              It was $5.99 CDN /lb this weekend in Toronto at T&T (large chain asian supermarket). It's usually around $11.99/lb.

                              1. Cheese Boy RE: the pontificator Oct 26, 2008 09:49 PM

                                Lobsters [chix] were $5.99/lb at Pathmark on 10/26. ... Surprise, surprise.

                                1. coll RE: the pontificator Oct 27, 2008 06:21 AM

                                  At my fish market that usually has great prices, I got a couple of culls for $4.99 each on Friday. Nice size, at least a pound and a half. Regular lobsters were $5.99 each. On Long Island. It sounded cheap, and now I know why! They did have soft-ish shells.

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