Summer Eating ~ Lobster In New England

Flickr photo by iferneinez
Doesn't this meal look good? I didn't take the picture, but according to the photographer, the lobster, corn on the cob, and fries cost $20.00.

The picture was taken in May 2011, so I'm not sure how much this meal would be at the same place this year. She was visiting Portland, Maine and from this picture, it looks like she might have been at Gilbert's Chowder House.

Have you had lobster this summer? My mom bought some lobsters a few weeks ago and made a lobster salad. It was really good!

The price of lobster has been pretty low recently, at least in Massachusetts. It's been great for consumers, but not so much for lobstermen. According to this Boston Business Journal article, during the week of July 3, 2012, soft-shell lobsters were selling for $3.00 - $3.50 per pound fresh off the boat.

The article also points out that the price gets marked up $1.00 - $2.00 per pound by retailers before being sold to restaurants. Apparently after that, restaurants normally  double the price on their menus. So you can see the savings start to melt away like butter if you want to eat your lobster at a restaurant.

However, if you buy lobsters live at the store, you can save some money. An article on echoes the same lobster tale. Prices are low and more people are buying lobsters.

So I've been reading about the prices and then I saw this tweet saying, "The article on Romney in today's Parade is such a laughable joke. Question for New Englanders: is lobster really a typical meal?"

You can read the article here. I think the quote being referred to is,"On the table, a typical New England lobster-and-corn supper."

Maybe the writer meant it's a popular New England style meal and not that it's eaten all the time. That's my interpretation of it.

While I'm most certainly no fan of Romney, I do know that the price of lobster here is pretty low, so I chimed in. So did two others. I don't think your average person is eating lobster daily or even once a week, but people here in New England may be eating it more often than before.

I was curious about the current prices of lobster, so I did a quick survey of the major grocery stores here in Quincy and a seafood market. These are today's prices and may change tomorrow. I used the terminology that the seafood department used with me.

Star Market
Chicken Lobster (sale price) $4.99
The Select (sale price) $6.99

Stop & Shop
Chicken Lobster (sale price) $5.99
The Select $11.99

Roche Bros.
Chicken Lobster - $6.39
The Select - $7.99

Soft-Shell - $6.99 lb

Burke’s Seafood
1 ¼ lbs - $6.99
1 ½ lbs - $7.99
Over 2lbs - $11.99

Compare the current price of the smaller lobsters or chicken lobsters per pound to actual chicken and it's not that big a difference. The Select is the larger lobster and definitely is more expensive.

Readers, what do you think? Any of you having lobster tonight?

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Unknown said…
I'm a big, big fan of lobster. Market Basket had them for $3.99/lb two weeks ago. We bought six for under $30- the price I usually pay for two! Usually we just steam them up, but the fact that they were so cheap allowed us to eat them in ways we never had before.
Lisa Johnson said…
stephanie - That's a great deal! Sadly there's no Market Basket around here. I'd have to drive a bit. Luckily the season isn't quite over yet. : )
Nance said…
Holy crap! What heaven. I am paying 6.99/lb. for steaks on sale here in NEO, and don't even dare look at lobster prices. I haven't had a decent lobster in years. Please invite me for a visit. LOL.

PS--There is no such thing as "decent lobster" in NEO. I know that. Sigh.
Lisa Johnson said…
nance - The regional differences in this country are amazing sometimes. I guess this is really a New England thing at this point. You're always welcome to visit Nance! For real. If you're ever in this area, I hope you let me know. : )
Mocha said…
Thanks for the much needed perspective. From the comments it sounds like most people don't have it regularly and that the sale prices have helped them have it more often than before. It also tells me that I need to haul my butt back to the east coast for lobster. But it will still be a treat! :-)
Lisa Johnson said…
mocha - You're welcome!Couldn't help but jump in. Yes, you must come back. But quickly! Prices seem to be going up again. And I agree that whatever the price, lobster is always a treat. : )

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