Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Northern New England >
Jul 6, 2013 05:51 PM

Lobster and oysters

This is both a general and a very specific request.

1. Specific: Is anyone familiar with the Damariscotta River's Belon oysters? I want to go north and have some. But I've read they are getting rare. Is that true?

2. General: I think oystering is fall and spring? Are lobsters only summer? Are there times we could get both, local, fresh, etc. In other words, do the seasons for them overlap?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 1. They are not "getting" rare. They have always been rare and are especially hard to find this time of year if they can be found at all - the wild harvest usually ends in spring but I hear there are a small amount being aqua-cultured. They are a very different flavor.
    2. Oystering in general is now year round though some (like Belons) are more available at different times of the year. Lobsters are year round as well but more are caught in the warmer months basically because it's too freak'n cold to fish in the winter. Spring and summer will see more soft shell lobster which are usually much cheaper. This is when the lobster molts. The meat is not as dense and less meat per lobster. Some say the meat is sweeter. Some swear by hard-shells..
    So to answer your final question, yes, the seasons overlap.

    1. I enjoyed a few Maine Belons at Flex in Manhattan a couple of months ago, and they were exactly as the waiter described them: like a copper penny -- and delicious. So if you like your oysters more briny than sweet, with a strong metallic flavor, they're right up your alley.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jeremiade

        Also, the Belons are HUGE! They are easily twice the size of your average oyster and 4 times the size of my favorite Kumamato oysters. The copper penny description is right on, BTW.

      2. Thanks to you both. We're still discussing when we might be able to go to Maine, but I'll make sure we go in either late fall or early spring, right? Both of those would be ovelapping seasons?

        1. July 17, 2013 Boston Chronicles show did a eating tour of the Maine coast. We don't eat oysters but the visit to Eventide Oyster in Portland ME made me want to try them. It looks like they have the Belon oyster. See their list on their website. From the interview, it sounded like the people who work there will give customers an explanation of the different kinds of oysters. Very casual place. Said some people go their for a drink and oysters before going to dinner someplace else.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dfrostnh

            The web site menu is a sample. The Belon's are available, well, when they're available, which has not been the last few times I've stopped in - about once a month. You probably will not see wild ones for a few more months. If you want a good oyster education, this is definitely the place to go.