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Buying Live Lobsters

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We'll be in Wellfleet in mid-July and then driving to the Berkshires. Any suggestions on where to buy live lobsters and raw clams to carry to our destination? And how best to keep the lobsters among the living for that long of a drive?

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  1. The drives not really an issue as long as you plan on eating them the same day. July lobster are likely to be soft shells so they won't keep overnight usually. You may be able to find hard shells, make sure to ask. You'll usually pay more if you find them. Joe's Fish and Lobster on the canal in Sandwich is the best fish market on the Cape by a pretty wide margin, but any decent fish monger will have live lobsters and both hard shell (littlenecks, cherrystones, and quahogs) and soft shell clams(steamers). You could also hit up Friendly Fisherman Fish Market or Mac's Seafood in Eastham, or even Market Basket in Sagamore just before the bridge in Bourne as you leave the Cape. Last summer they sold cheap lobsters all summer long for only $3.99/lb. Might be best to put it all in a cooler with ice for the trip.

    1. Bring a cooler, ice on the bottom - use ice packs, ice in a plastic bag, or cover the ice with salt water soaked newspaper. Lobsters go on top. Should be good for the day.

      1. Or, you could just buy them in the berkshires. I understand any freshness concerns but the drive may cancel that out.

        Actually the clam quality may be a bigger issue than lobster, although guidos is pretty good

        1 Reply
        1. re: nfnebwiri

          Nah, I'd buy them on the cape any day. I lived in that area for a number of years, and now live in Western Mass. The lobsters in the tanks here are barely alive. Transporting them from Wellfleet to Lenox is not at all a big deal in a cooler, on ice. They'll be just fine. In restaurants I have worked at, lobsters were still plenty feisty after a couple of few days in the walk-in, especially when covered in damp rags.

        2. I'd definitely check out Friendly Fisherman in N. Eastham for the seafood. They should be able to provide ice/advice for packing them up in your cooler too.

          1. I've taken 20+ soft-ish shell lobsters from Auburn to Pittsburgh and they were fine, including an overnight. Layer in a cooler, from the bottom up; ice-newspaper-lobster-newspaper-lobster-newspaper-ice. Top off ice occasionally but make sure not to crush them. Drain melted water from the bottom so there's never more than .5" of water or so.