I love lobster as much as, maybe more, than the next person and what better place to enjoy a Maine lobster than in Maine?
For those unaware, “Maine” lobster is a crustacean species of the mid-Atlantic and does not refer specifically to the lobsters off the coast of Maine. If you are getting Maine lobsters in say New York, Cape May, Baltimore, you are most likely not getting the indigenous clan of our waters, unless, of course, they’re being shipped to your local restaurant or fish monger.
In my opinion there are plenty of myths surrounding the size and/or age vs. the tenderness and flavor of lobster. I don’t know ‘bout y’all but we pick our lobsters clean, I mean head, legs, knuckles, tail and fan meat. However, that would almost be impossible with a critter that’s less than 2 lbs. My wife gets the 2.5 to 3 pounder, and I, the 3.5 to 4.5 pounder (I always ask for their largest one).
Now before you get all up in my face about the size and weight allow me to explain just a few reasons why, in this case, I say bigger is better: 1) there is more meat per pound! Hence, this negates what you consider to be more money for the same meat – not!; 2) the flavor, the flavor, the flavor! This can not be overlooked. The flavor is more intense (NOT FUNKY, intense of the sea), more sweet and smelling of the sea!; 3) the meat is NOT that much more tougher than a 1 to 1.5 pounder – a little more chew but only in the tail!; 4) you won’t get burned on twin 1 to 1.5 pounders and still be hungry!
Allow me to clarify my eating habits involving lobstah. I don’t order these at a restaurant (unless I’m at Smith & Wollensky’s in NY and they do all the prep work for me!), we head to a lobster pound or fishermen’s coop where they steam them for and we take a table and devour them “In The Rough.” We no longer get all messy and stinky as we don’t drench ourselves in lobster juice and gunk (we are now professional eaters). Sometimes we don’t have the time to sit and rough it so I bring home and cook them on the oven or our outdoor cooker (yes, in a pot!). I usually include mussels, corn on the cob, and new Yukon Golds. Then we sit at the table – outdoors, if the weather is fine, and get crazy.
One recommendation I will make – if you decide on ‘roughing it,” is to go prepared! Invest $6 to $20 (depending on how many sets for how many people) and bring your own nut crackers (for the claws and knuckles, etc,); meat pick (for those hard to reach mini-nuggets of meat); a couple of rolls of towel paper; bottled water, for a quick hand/mouth rinse; handy wipes for after the mess; and, a few lemons. We take our own beverages (N/A). In Maine you can purchase most of these items just about anywhere (except for the lemon, you’ll need a grocer for those), and many of the items are already in sets of 2, 4 and up to 8, that I’ve seen. Also, make sure to bring a waterproof bag for transporting the dirty items and leftovers (if you go for the big lobstah). We have most of these items in our “roughing-it-go-bags,” by our kitchen doors and ready to go!
Hey, if you don’t take my recommendation, you’ll still do great as our purveyors of the luscious nectar (I know its not a liquid – let me have some fun and write wrong – haha?!) of the sea will provide you with the utensils and implements you’ll need – at a small cost, of course. Go Big!