Wednesday, June 27

"Eat, eat, eat, Molt, expand, repeat!"

This title is the lobsters' chant, as reported on NPR's Morning Edition this Tuesday. It seems that no one knows how long a lobster can live and how big it can get. I certain;ly don't know, buI I do know, though, that once in a blue moon a bright blue lobster is caught and folks come to marvel. I know also that Warrens' Seafood, a small fish market in a small village near my home town of Riverside, RI, has caught two blue lobsters in recent years. I saw both of them, in two different summers, prowling around in the salt water holding tank next to the cases of littlenecks and steamers, mussels and squid, scrod, mackerel, and what ever else they'd caught.

The blue lobsters are a deep bright blue, deep cerulean, and tinged with the same hints of red and cream like the regular dull dark green ones.

Lobsters are great, boiled quickly (and perhaps cruelly?), and served very simply, either hot with drawn butter to dip in, or chilled, with same and mayo if you like. And good crusty French or Italian bread. You can break off each long thin claw and chew on it from tip to opening, squeezing out the sweet salty juices, A lobster can keep you busy for the better part of an hour, especially with a friend, cool drinks and a pleasant setting. You need no fries, no side orders, though last summer I had a modest looking but perfect dish of grilled zucchini pieces, done with garlic.

I was very lucky last summer, because I happened to be in Plymouth, Mass., a block from Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower replica, at a comfortable restaurant by the harbor, and it was Thursday, their "Twin lobsters for $19.95" night. One to eat and one to take home and chill for lobster salad, or a lobster roll, or plain, with melted butter.

They are usually very expensive, and lots of the people who catch them or live near those fishing villages can't usually afford to eat them.

One summer I had spent a few days in Waldoboro, Maine, and on my way home read that a truckload of Homarus americanus has overturned way up north on Route 1. The lobsters, which had been on their way to restaurants in big cities, were instead distributed throughout the town, to senior centers and all kinds of social agencies. For once, the people up there Down East could have a taste of their prime catch.

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