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Maine Lobster vs. Rock Lobster

Gourmet North Atlantic Lobster

Nothing says luxury quite like a lobster dinner. Whether it's the creaminess of a well-made lobster bisque or a hearty lobster roll, there's something for everyone to love.

But first, you have to buy the right kind of lobster.

Restaurants tend to serve two types of lobster: Maine lobster and rock lobster. Here's what you need to know to choose the perfect one for your home-cooked meal.

What is Maine Lobster?

American lobster, better known as Maine lobster, is found in the North Atlantic coast of the U.S. Despite their name, their habitat stretches up and down the East Coast from Canada all the way to North Carolina, though they're most abundant between Maine and New Jersey.

When you think of lobster, you probably think of these guys, with their big crushing claws and smaller claws for scuttling. That's because Maine lobsters are the most sought-after type of lobster.

What does Maine lobster taste like? These crustaceans get their taste from the characteristic feature of their habitat: cold, clean water. This gives the Maine lobster the taste you tend to think of when you think of lobster--sweet, clean, and light, with a melt-in-your-mouth consistency. You'll get the best taste by boiling them alive.

What is Rock Lobster?

Rock lobster is better known as spiny lobster or spinies. While their Maine cousins are cold-weather critters, rock lobsters are found in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Mediterranean Sea.

You would be able to differentiate a rock lobster from a Maine lobster as soon as you saw one. Unlike Maine lobsters, rock lobsters don't have the large crushing claws that are the Maine lobster's characteristic feature. Instead, they have large antennae to scare predators off with a frightening sound. While Maine lobsters are harvested for their claw meat, rock lobsters are harvested for their tail meat.

What does rock lobster taste like? It tastes quite a bit like Maine lobster, but the meat is a bit firmer since it comes from the tail. The taste depends on where it comes from--Mediterranean spinies are brinier, Caribbean spinies are sweeter, and California spinies have the best of both worlds.

Choosing the Right Lobster Types

The right lobster type for your recipe depends on the recipe itself.

Generally speaking, you can use Maine lobster and rock lobster interchangeably and get more or less the same result. However, you should pay attention to where your lobster comes from. If you don't want brininess, be careful to avoid Mediterranean and California rock lobsters. That said, you'll notice the difference the most if you're serving lobster whole rather than as an ingredient.

The other key difference is consistency. Rock lobster meat is a bit firmer than Maine lobster, which makes fine-textured Maine lobster ideal for delicate recipes that ask for that wonderful lobster sweetness. Reach for Maine lobster for your classic lobster bisque recipe and you have a decadent treat.

Ready to Order Your Lobster Dinner?

There's nothing quite like the joy of a good Maine lobster. And these days, you don't need to live on the brisk Maine coast to access a lobster dinner.

We sell high-quality live lobster, lobster meat, and more to folks like you who love a good lobster but don't have access to a Maine fisherman. After all, everyone should be able to enjoy great Maine lobster. So make sure to check out our offerings and order your lobster dinner today.

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