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Lobster, live and kicking... $3.99lb, Market Basket, Woburn.

Just saw the sign tonight as I was going in to pick up a few items. Not sure how long and not sure if it's in the other MB locations, just wanted to put it out there. :)

www.saffrn215.blogspot.com

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  1. Thanks as always, mcel. Saturday is MB shopping day...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      How'd you do Gio? I stopped by this morning and picked up a 1&1/4lb lobster. Guy was nice as pie, but said "they are all about the same size", when I asked for a large one. :)

      www.saffron215.blogspot.com

      1. re: mcel215

        Hi MCEL.. My husband brought home two 1 1/2 pounders yesterday from the Reading MB and they were the cutest little things I've ever seen. (I say that because I'm so dang spoiled by usually getting 2 - 2 1/2 lbs. each.) At 11:30 AM that's what they had. He asked for "hard shell females" and that's what he got. Sound familiar? <grin>

        They were exceptionally sweet I thought. I made a tossed salad and a remoulade then simply placed large chunks of the meat on top. Seriously delicious...

    2. Same $3.99 today at the Sagamore Store. Bought a couple. Very soft shells, and shrunken meat in the claws, but at about the same price per lb. as bologna, who cares!?

      44 Replies
      1. re: CapeCodGuy

        "who cares"......My thoughts exactly. At $3.99, use a bigger pot and just throw a few extra in :-)

        $3.99 lb makes for a great party where everyone throws in $20.00 plus beverages and you have a lobster feast.

        1. re: CapeCodGuy

          The ones I got last week were full of water, salty, and not very flavorful. Was reminded once again why I avoid soft shells this time of year. Eh, would rather pay twice as much and get something with much more flavor.

          Two weeks prior they were 4.99 lb for hardshells - a 1.5lb lobster was packed full of meat and satisfying. Would have taken about 3 1.5lb soft shells to get the same weight of meat (after squeezing the water out).

          Each to their own I guess.

          1. re: LStaff

            I'm with you, I far prefer hard shells.

          2. re: CapeCodGuy

            What kind of bologna do you buy at $20/lb?

            1. re: Clams047

              What does $20/lb. have to do with $3.99 lb. lobsters?

              .

              (And don't bother telling me that's the cost of the meat without the shells. Do you also factor in the cost of the bones when you buy a chicken?)

              1. re: CapeCodGuy

                I think this is a pretty easy one, but what I think Clams is saying, and I could be wrong....

                Comparing the price of a 1lb lobster to 1lb of bologna seems a little wacked! When lobster is $6.99 lb would you compare it to deli roastbeef?

                Regardless of what taste better, if you're buying a one pound lobster in shell you're going to eat it once or feed one, and if you're buying a pound of (boneless) bologna you're going to eat it for a week or feed many.

                Personally, i'm not driven by price. If it's $3.99 lb or $6.99 lb it really doesn't matter, I buy it when I feel like eating it.

                1. re: Infomaniac

                  I disagree. It's the same price as bologna

                  1. re: ac106

                    I agree it's the same price per pound for $3.99 lb bologna, but MB sells bologna at $1.99 lb too, so where is the comparison there

                    1. re: Infomaniac

                      I agree it's the same price as 3.99 bologna.

                      1. re: ac106

                        True, but I hardly ever throw away 80% of the $3.99 bologna I buy.

                          1. re: ac106

                            True - which I clearly stated above. It is not, however, the same amount of food.

                            1. re: NE_Wombat

                              Neither is walnuts, bananas, whole chicken, watermelon, avocados, mangoes, any meat cuts on the bone and a million other food items that are not 100% consumable so what exactly is your point

                              1. re: ac106

                                "so what exactly is your point"

                                That's it's a stupid comparison to say "lobster is as cheap as bologna because the price per gross weight is the same".

                                Would you say "They're just as cheap" if shelled walnuts and walnuts IN the shell were the same price per pound? If not, why not?

                                A $3 pound of sand is the same price as a $3 pound of strawberries. That certainly doesn't make $3 of sand as cheap of food as $3 of strawberries.

                              2. re: NE_Wombat

                                But it IS the same price per pound, which still makes the original statement, ''that it costs the same as bologna'' 100% true. Silly discussion and/or argument.

                                .
                                Try grinding the shells up. They make an excellent fertilizer. Try doing THAT with bologna!

                                1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                  Save that tip for the gardening board.

                                  Here's how to get better mileage out $3.99 lobsters.

                                  Try freezing the shells/bodies. They make an excellent stock for risotto, soups and chowder.

                                  Oh, and don't forget to tell us you have a bag in your freezer filled up now.

                                  1. re: Infomaniac

                                    Nope. But I do have a jar of "Better Than Bullion Lobster base" in the fridge. I will, however, use shells/bodies the one or two times per year make a bisque. I don't need the bodies enough otherwise to warrant giving them valuable freezer space.

                                  2. re: CapeCodGuy

                                    "But it IS the same price per pound, which still makes the original statement, ''that it costs the same as bologna'' 100% true. "

                                    Which is why I agreed with the semantics - twice.

                                    Now, if I sold you ALL shells at $3.99 per pound, it would also be the same price per pound as bologna. Would you take THAT deal? If not, why not? If you wouldn't take that deal, it certainly seems that, at some point, edible yield really does become a consideration.

                                    1. re: NE_Wombat

                                      I agree 3.99 bologna costs the same ad 3.99 lobster

                                      Primarily because its the same price.

                                      1. re: ac106

                                        I concur with your agreement as $3.99 does, in fact, = $3.99.

                                        1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                          By any chance do the both of you own Parrots?

                                          1. re: Infomaniac

                                            By any chance do the both of you own Parrots?

                                            ~~~~~

                                            for the win!!!!

                                              1. re: Infomaniac

                                                Folks, we're going to ask everyone to give this tangent a rest before we get to the point where we start debating how many lobsters can dance on the head of a pin. Value is a pretty subjective term, and this point has been pretty thoroughly discussed. Let's get back to the chow. Thanks.

                                            1. re: Infomaniac

                                              If I owned a Parrot and he owned a Myna bird, would that be the same thing?

                                            2. re: CapeCodGuy

                                              But, would you pay $3.99 if it were ALL shells? That's also the same price as $3.99 bologna.

                                              Be honest now. If you wouldn't, it's clear that yield - at some point - makes a difference. If you WOULD buy all shells at $3.99 per pound, I suspect you can find that deal all year round. If you wouldn't take that deal, yield is important, and we're just squabbling over where you'd draw the line - somewhere between 20% and 0%.

                                              1. re: NE_Wombat

                                                Talk about making something out of a nothing. It's a simple a-n-a-l-o-g-y. And it's still a 100% correct one. For some strange, unknown reason you want to add some irrelevant variables into the discussion. "$3.99 pound of sand isn't food" "Would you pay $3.99 for a pound of shells?" (either walnut or lobster, I guess). And after all that, you decide that it comes down to edible yield being the most important aspect of the analogy, "At $3.99 per pound, lobster is the same price as $3.99 bologna." , What if I told you a pound of rocks weighs the same as a pound of feathers? Would you then reply, 'What would you rather get hit over the head with, a pound of rocks or a pound of feathers?"

                                                But in the end, and totally unrelated to the analogy in dispute, I'll play along and ask you this. What's a better deal to YOU, a completely "edible" pound of baloney for $3.99, or 3-4 ounces of edible lobster meat from a 1 pound lobster at $3.99?

                                                1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                                  Even when you break it down to this, it's a wacked analogy.

                                                  Try comparing it to $3.99 for 3-4 oz. of edible lobster meat to 1 lb. of ocean fresh Pollock Fillets which were also on sale for $3.99 lb.

                                                  1. re: Infomaniac

                                                    Ok....A $3.99 per pound lobster is the same price as $3.99 ocean fresh Pollock filets and also a $3.99 pound of sand.

                                                    ~~~~~~

                                                    better?

                                                    edit: Sorry, just saw the Mod's request so I'll refrain from any more of this scintillating banter

                                                2. re: NE_Wombat

                                                  I have a bridge I will gladly sell for $3.99 a pound.

                                                3. re: CapeCodGuy

                                                  No actually in a quantum universe, on a VERY small scale, a $3.99 lobster is actually = a dead cat.

                                                  But you can make a very nice stock from the dead cat.

                                                4. re: ac106

                                                  "Primarily because its the same price"

                                                  BWAH!!!!

                                                  1. re: C. Hamster

                                                    yum yum - tasty shells. So, do prefer the soft or hard shells with your lobster?

                                    2. re: Infomaniac

                                      I've seen some pretty ridiculous arguments on Chowhound over the years, but this one takes the cake! $3.99 per pound is $3.99 per pound, whether it's bologna, lobster, chicken, or sand! It is not a comparison of preferred taste, or what feeds more people (none in the case of sand), or what gets thrown away, or any other variable, it's the same exact price per pound. That was the analogy and it's 100% correct. How is it "wacked"?

                                      By the way, it came about as I was standing in line at the fish counter waiting my turn and I noticed a sign at the adjacent deli counter which read ....yup, $3.99 Bologna (not $1.99).

                                      1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                        I agree, and I don't think anyone is arguing that $3.99 lb is $3.99 lb except you.

                                        MB sells about a dozen different kinds of bologna at all different price points. So you saw a sign that said $3.99 lb bologna....big deal.

                                        My point is that it's a wacked analogy that not only you but the media trys to get cute with too!

                                        1. re: Infomaniac

                                          You're all right; it's just the side of the coin you see it on. If you want particularly lobster, go for lobster as $3.99/lb is a good price. If you want seafood in general this week, you might want to go with a nice swordfish ($6.99/lb this week at Shaw's for frozen which was a decent taste). Generally, there's 4 ounces of meat to a lb in a softshell lobster so you are paying $16/lb, which makes other fish an attractive buy.

                                          1. re: kreptol

                                            I'd rather pay the 8.99 lb. at MB this week for fresh sword. It was yummy btw. It's not a matter of the end cost per pound anyway. It's about what you feel like eating. I enjoy $20 lb. King Crab sometimes too.

                                          2. re: Infomaniac

                                            You're the only one here making a big deal out of a simple off the cuff observation. Lobster prices at MB are the same price as bologna. At that price I will put up with the downside of softshells. You don't like the comparison? Big deal indeed.

                                            1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                              Took you a while but you finally got it right! Good for you.

                                              1. re: Infomaniac

                                                I want to pay $8.99 per pound for bologna

                                                1. re: Science Chick

                                                  That's easy. Just shop at Stop & Shop! :-)

                                                  1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                                    It'd have to be one heck of a grain fed animal w/ absolutely no preservatives to convince me to pay that much for bologna. But I did realize that Stop & Shop lowered their regular price on many Boar's Head meats to $8.99. Though, most of the price premium is just the pure brand value than the quality of the product (albeit it is still better than your deli choices selling around $4.99/lb elsewhere).

                                                  2. re: Science Chick

                                                    I have seen some specialty homemade / smoked bologna at country stores in that price range but if something like supermarket Oscar Meyer hits $8.99 we are all in a lot of trouble.

                              3. m, thank you for your continued thoughtfulness! since you go to the same store where My Love shops, would you help me w/ something? When I ask him to ask them for "no soft shells and at least 1.5 pounders, he says "you don't understand; you can't talk to them. they go in the back and you get what you get." Is that your experience too or do you have a way of communicating with them ? thx again :-}

                                40 Replies
                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                  op,

                                  I ask for "the largest female lobster they have". Usually they say, and some speak English better than others, "they are all about the same size". Although, when the price is at it's lowest, it's more difficult to get anything larger than a chicken lobster. Sometimes, the earlier one goes, the better the chance. I am one of the 7am grocery shoppers. :)

                                  And some of the times, I get hard shells, but some times I get soft shells, it doesn't really matter to me (although, lots of people prefer hard shell). Last week, my lobster was a hard shell from MB.

                                  1. re: mcel215

                                    yep, they were less than a pound early this morn. ah, the trials and tribulations....!(joke,joke) Thks for your help,m.

                                    1. re: mcel215

                                      Just curious, why ask for a female? The male has larger claws, pound for pound, so there's more meat.

                                      I'd be worried about the look I'd get across the counter at my local Sagamore MB if I asked for a female anyway. Once the price drops to $3.99 it's a feeding frenzy with 20+ people trying for attention at all times. I do wish they would put in a number system. Don't understand why they haven't figured that out yet.

                                        1. re: treb

                                          Love the roe!

                                          Straight up on a Saltine Cracker for me.

                                          1. re: Infomaniac

                                            love the roe, straight-up. lucky for me the b/f hates tomalley so i get all his too. :)

                                        2. re: CapeCodGuy

                                          I've always felt the females had fatter tails as well. Is that a myth.

                                          1. re: StriperGuy

                                            Not a myth: males have bigger claws, and females, meatier tails.

                                            1. re: pinehurst

                                              Thx... I'd rather have the bigger tail meat than bigger claws any day...

                                              1. re: pinehurst

                                                Not a myth, but males have more overall meat than females.

                                                1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                                  So are you going to try some roe next time you choose a female?

                                                  1. re: treb

                                                    I've had roe, and to be honest, it doesn't do anything for me one way or the other. I do like to have some when making bisque I admit. Tomalley on the other hand, blechhhh, I pass.

                                                      1. re: StriperGuy

                                                        Knuckle meat is the best part of the lobster followed by the crown meat covering the widow sack.

                                                        1. re: josephlapusata

                                                          Totally agree on the knuckle front, that in fact is why I prefer LARGE lobsters.

                                                          1. re: StriperGuy

                                                            Agree on the knuckles. My favorite meat on the whole bug.One of my local fishmongers sells tons of cooked lobster meat, especially in the summer. They pick there own, but don't bother picking the knuckles. I've picked up huge bags of knuckles only, at $8 or so per pound. A pound of knuckles in the shell yields about 40%-50% in meat. Great deal and I'm in knuckle heaven.

                                                            1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                                              Care to share the details of your monger? I bag of knuckles would be Christmas in August for me.

                                                              1. re: GilbyEast

                                                                He replied in this link http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/912403

                                                                When he made a similar comment there.

                                                                I have seen bodies for sale at PJ lobsters on northern ave, not sure about knuckles, I heard if you call them they will let you know when they are fresh the freeze the bodies so they keep longer.

                                                                1. re: GilbyEast

                                                                  Sure thing. Joe's Fish and Lobster in Sandwich, MA. Call first as they go fast.

                                                                  1. re: GilbyEast

                                                                    For those wondering about the veracity of my claim of a local monger who sells bags of luscious knuckles, here's a photo of today's buy. Three full pounds of knuckles in the shell, just $18. It yielded, and I'm guessing, about 1 & 1/3 pounds of sweet knuckle deliciousness. Here's a photo of the end result. The two left on the board unpicked give you an idea of the range in size you get in the bag.

                                                                    BTW, it was a mix of soft and hard shells, and a few which were in a state of molt I've never witnessed before. The hard shell gave way to meat that had a very "leathery" skin on it. This "skin" was apparently the old shell decomposing inside the new harder outside shell. A revelation to me after 50 years of eating bugs.

                                                                     
                                                                    1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                                                      Oh, and what stock those shells will make.

                                                                      1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                                                        Think u got it backward...

                                                                        Hard old outer shell about to slough off as a papery new shell is starting to form inside close to the meat.

                                                                        1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                          Ahhh...That makes more sense. Thanks for the correction. Had never seen that before.

                                                                        2. re: CapeCodGuy

                                                                          CCG-I'm so glad you uploaded that photo and am really chuckling to myself here. For years, I always thought of that meat as "the arm" and loved it. Whenever I read "knuckle" meat, I thought folks were referring to the meat in the chest, where the little legs are attached (after you crack open the chest, you can get that meat out from between the little cartilage dividers). I had such a hard time picturing how you would get that out sufficiently to make a lobster roll! At least I know know the proper terminology....and, yes, that is my FAVORITE part too!

                                                                          How funny......BTW, what is that chest wall meat correctly called?

                                                                            1. re: josephlapusata

                                                                              Is that the only official "body meat", or are there other little nooks and crannies that can contribute?

                                                              2. re: CapeCodGuy

                                                                In a 1 1/2 pound soft shell lobster do you think the overall meat difference is significant?

                                                                1. re: Infomaniac

                                                                  lobster yield is pretty low-- i doubt the difference is more than a couple ounces.

                                                                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                    Yes but at $3 per ounce for lobster meat, a couple of ounces is rather significant. Plus, the quality difference. Still, I'll put up with the downside of soft shells for $4 per pound.

                                                                  2. re: Infomaniac

                                                                    Yes I do. There's a difference in both the quantity and quality of meat, especially in the claws, which depending on the degree of molt, can be almost all water and mush. But, locally in the summer, hard shell bugs are around $9-10 per pound vs. $4-5 for soft shells, so I can't say that even with the difference, a hard shell is a better value.

                                                                    1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                                                      Tonight our $3.99 lb MB lobsters (5= 6lb) were a combo of hard and soft shell. Due to our own faulty planning, they had spent 4 days (Fri-Mon) in a fish bin w/ ice packs and ice, in the coldest part (left rear) of our 2nd frig. They varied from barely alive to alive. Steamed them 9-10 minutes in 2" of salted water.They were beautiful and sweet. (Thx again mcel!)

                                                                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                        op,

                                                                        I have had many lobsters die on me throughout the years of fishing and refrigeration issues. If they do, just tuck the tail under the lobster and steam. When you finish steaming, pick up your lobster, if the tail is tightly tucked under, it's good to eat (you have approx. 8hrs to cook up a dead one). If the tail droops and hangs limp, toss it out. That was taught to me many years ago, from old lobstermen who deal daily with refrigeration issues and can't sell dead lobsters.

                                                                        Also, just a FYI, if your vegetable/meat drawer in your refrigerator is cold enough, you don't need the extra ice. It may be the culprit of nearly killing the lobster. I clear out a bin and let the lobster stay until ready to steam, up to 4 or 5 days. Haven't had one die on me for years. I'm not planning to cook mine until tomorrow night and he's been in the fridge since Sunday morning. :)

                                                                        www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                        1. re: mcel215

                                                                          that's so interesting, m. fwiw, I didn't tuck the tail under (you must kill yours before steaming; I just cut off the rubber bands and pop them in the pot. ) but they all did come out curled and th you for that tip!

                                                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                            I don't kill my lobster b/f I steam them. I was referring to a nearly dead, or dead lobster, that when you pick it up it's hanging limp in your hand. That's when I tuck the tail under and place that lobster on the bottom of the pan to cook. If after it's steamed and it's still limp, then toss it out. You have about 8 hrs after a lobster dies, to cook it. Summer refrigeration can be tricky and if you loose a lobster, all is not lost, hopefully. :)

                                                                            www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                            1. re: mcel215

                                                                              that makes perfect sense,m. thnx. do you cut off the rubber bands? I've read that one should do that to keep the rubber flavor from getting into the lobster but that doesn't sound likely to me.
                                                                              p.s. you actually ask for female lobsters and they go to that trouble for you?(and they know the difference?)
                                                                              Do you take them choc chip cookies or something? )

                                                                              1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                hey op,

                                                                                remember, I go to MB at 7am on a Sunday morning (usually), and I do ask for a female if they can grab one for me please. I'd be surprised if a worker behind a fish counter as busy as the MB in Woburn or Reading, wouldn't know the difference. They never seem to mind, but if I go and the place is crowded, I don't ask. And one time, I was there before the truck arrived (normally it arrives around 7am, I was told), and there weren't any lobsters at all left from the night before. So, the say "the early bird..... ", doesn't always work, lol!

                                                                                And no, I never cut the rubber bands off and don't know any lobster people that ever have. If you have ever got bit by a lobster and had to go on IV antibiotics (as my oldest son worked banding them one summer did), for a week, you would be gun shy too. Mostly though, I've never heard of a band causing an off flavor to the lobster, except here. Everyone has a right to their opinion though. :)

                                                                                www.saffron215.blogspot.

                                                                                1. re: mcel215

                                                                                  oh yay, lobster just became even easier. but I need to re read the female description for My Love/Mr Early Shopper.
                                                                                  thx again m.

                                                                2. re: pinehurst

                                                                  I don't mean to be crude, but the way to remember this is that men have bigger fists, women have fatter bums.

                                                          2. re: opinionatedchef

                                                            op, in my experience in the Sagamore store you are lucky to get waited on. Specifics are very difficult. Early morning might be easier since I go in the evening and am competing for attention with people who are having their lobsters steamed.

                                                          3. at the pounds I hang out at in Maine hardshells are always priced differently (and higher) than softshells, usually by $1/lb or more, expecting hardshells at $3.99/lb may be a bridge too far.

                                                            One can argue until the cows come home about the differences, I like softshells for picking (like for salad).

                                                            I just paid $3.25/lb for softshells at the pound, $3.99 in a supermarket is a really good price.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Carty

                                                              my b/f's lowell mb was OUT of lobsters last night at only 4:00!

                                                              last weekend we got 3; 1 was a hardshell, all were about 1.5 lbs. honestly, at this price, squabbling or being fussy seems kinda over-the-top. besides, the workers aren't fish-mongers, they are store clerks. :)

                                                            2. For folks who want big bugs, go early, they sell out of the big ones fast.