Size does matter, but quality rules
How to choose fresh fish, avoid bad clams and triumph at the lobster pound by choosing the smaller, softer crustacean
Apparently lobster prices in Maine are at an all-time low. That’s very rough for all the hardworking lobstermen and women in my home state, and if you don’t think lobstering is tough work, think again. Imagine being out on the water in freezing weather (every month of the year but July) on an open boat deck, wearing rubber overalls while handling bait and pulling traps up from the bottom of the bay to earn your living. It’s cold, it’s backbreaking, it’s dirty and it’s dangerous.
Whatever the price, if we don’t buy lobsters, the lobsterman’s labor is all for naught. So as we approach the season of my most favorite of all seafood, the soft shell lobster (or shedder), I thought you might profit by taking a gander at my seminal look at seafood, Avoid the Bad Clam, originally posted in October of last year. It contains many handy tips on choosing seafood to prepare at home and an invaluable guide to successfully navigating the lobster pound. Here you go:
Avoid the bad clam
I am a magnet for bad seafood. At a restaurant table of six, everyone gets a delicious portion of crab cakes, broiled scrod or lazy man’s lobster. Except me. If there’s one malodorous, borderline piece of fish, one rotting lobster tail or just a single rancid clam in the kitchen, it magically finds its way to my plate. So, out of necessity, I have become something of an expert in the choosing, purchase and preparation of fish. If you’d ever been on the business end of a bad mussel, you would be too.
I’ll spare you the usual foray into my sordid past and get right to business.