Rock vs. Maine Lobster: What’s the difference?
The great Maine lobster versus rock lobster debate “boils” down (pun intended) to one thing: your preferred taste.
While restaurants may sometimes use different variations of lobster for certain dishes, they tend to be less particular when the lobster isn’t the star of the dish. In fact, when price is a consideration, many restaurants will choose rock lobster.
However, when decadent, sweet-tasting meat is the biggest consideration (or a beautiful steamed lobster is the star of the plate), Maine lobster will always be the clear winner.
You might be wondering “well, how do I tell rock lobster and Maine lobster apart at a seafood restaurant or supermarket?” Don’t worry, dear lobster lover, that answer is easy.
HOW TO TELL A MAINE LOBSTER APART FROM A ROCK LOBSTER
Maine lobsters, also known as American lobsters, are known for their massive pinchers (or claws), where much of their delicious meat is found. This species is found all along the East Coast: starting from the north in Canada’s cold water down to the warmer southern waters of North Carolina.
This crustacean, when alive, is dark brown with only hints of dark red in its shell. You’ll often recognize this lobster first by his claws. Additionally, of the two types of lobster, the Maine lobsters are the rarer species.
Rock lobsters — or spiny lobsters — are known for their long antennas, which have been reported to sometimes be longer than their bodies. They use their antennae to scare off predators with a sound or use them as weapons for anyone who challenges them. You can spot rock lobsters by their multiple pointed spines on their tails and eye-like spots along their bodies and tails.
The rock lobster has small claws, with little to no meat. So when consuming this lobster, the majority of the meat is found in the tail.
HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE IN MAINE AND ROCK LOBSTER BY TASTE
Due to its time in the colder water climates, Maine lobster meat is sweeter and more tender. Maine lobster meat is also harvested from the claws, body, and tail; while, in contrast, the rock lobster meat is only from the tail.
When it comes to consistency, Maine lobster meat tends to be more delicate than the firmer rock lobster meat. Due to the warm water the rock lobster dwells in, it tends to be a bit brinier in taste. Conversely, Maine lobsters are known for more of a clean, sweet taste.
So if clean, delicate, and sweet is the criteria you’re looking for in your lobster, there’s nothing better than Maine lobster!