Monday, August 17, 2009
"Rock Bottom" Lobster
Welcome to my vacation in lovely Bar Harbor, Maine. Where the in-laws are friendly, and the lobster is plentiful.
Or so you would think!
This Wall Street Journal article shows the fallout from the recession. People just ain't buying the luxury crustaceon like they used to!
"Lobstermen are getting paid around $2.50 a pound for soft-shell lobster this summer. Just two years ago, the average price was $4.43, according the state's Department of Marine Resources. Lobster prices often fluctuate, getting higher in the winter when weather conditions make it harder to fish, and lower in the summer. But last fall, prices dropped sharply, and have only slightly recovered."
"They've always said that lobster follows the stock market," because people treat themselves to lobster meals when they're feeling prosperous, said Neal Workman, president of the Fisheries Exchange, a company that advises seafood dealers.
I've always had a love/hate with lobster. On the one hand, I love shellfish. All of them. Especially crab and lobster. But whenever I splurge for some sweet LOB, I end up afterward thinking "that was a waste of money. I should have just dipped some chicken in butter."
I would never, ever, ever eat lobster without the sweet butter dipper. Why? I just wouldn't. Like I wouldn't eat blue crab without little sprinkles of Old Bay spice. So with lobster, perhaps the fish is nothing more than a "delivery system for butter." And an expensive one at that.
I will try to drive a hard bargain this week on vacation in regard to lobster prices. I may just walk up to one of the many local lobster pounds and say: "How about 3 bucks for that lobster. $5 if you cook it for me."
And just see what they say.
In a related story, the alligator skinnin' biz in Loooo-eeeeesssianana aint' doin' too good neither.