Maine lobster vs. caribbean lobster

Jan 16th, 2007, 09:19 AM
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Maine lobster vs. caribbean lobster

the "terrible lobster dinner" thread has me wondering...
we are from Maine and we love our lobster,while on Tortola we considered a lobster dinner. All the restaurant people would say is that it is not the same as Maine lobster. I know they have no claws, but taste wise, how does it compare??

Is it worth trying?
soggydollar is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 09:39 AM
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2 different species: Maine lobster, largely caught and/or processed actually in Nova Scotia and then sent back into the US is homarus americanus,
with big claws/claw meat and body meat, plus tomalley and other tasty bits.
Spiny lobster, out of season in the summer spawning months in the Caribbean,
is Palinuras elphas/vulgaris, smaller, no claw meat. It's warm warm lobster
so flesh texture is not as dense -- and not as sweet as Mainer lobsta, even
'poundas'. Best grilled quickly/with garlic butter or curried. Don't know if
they're caught in Tortola but the big deep-sea crab/bongo/monkey crab are the prizes to look for with meat even
sweeter than Maine lobster/and lots of it.
tivertonhouse is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 09:45 AM
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Go for it.

If you don't like it you'll know not to order it again, and if you much the better.
waring is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 09:47 AM
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Correction -- make that 'warm water lobster' for the spinies above. The big thing to look out for cooking spiny lobster is overgrilling/overboiling since they're small. Langoustines or lobster tails are invariably frozen
imports and best avoided. In Jamaica, fresh water crawfish, fresh river shrimp and other mollusks, even oysters can be found on parts of island.
tivertonhouse is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 10:00 AM
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Btw, I live on ME/NH border and used to do global advertising for the world's largest exporter of lobster. US$160 for a spiny lobster dinner is outrageous but par for the course in some of the islands, Tortola, St.Barts,etc. Mushy
lobster has either been frozen or is out of season lobster. Order the fish
tivertonhouse is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 10:12 AM
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I agree that you need to just try it. Personally my favorite lobster is Australian/New Zealand. And I hate African lobster. I like Caribbean lobster, but I don't care for it as much grilled.
I suspect you will find that your Maine lobster has whiter meat and may be a bit more tender as it grew slower in the colder water. You may even think it has a cleaner taste. But, do try it.
Knowing is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 10:40 AM
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There's no comparison, Maine lobster is far tastier however, I enjoy Caribbean lobster as long as it's fresh and not overly cooked. As others have pointed out Maine lobsters are usually more tender. Since live Maine lobsters are extremely rare in the Caribbean (and non-existent on most islands - by the way I've never seen them during several visits to Tortola) if you want a lobster dinner you don't have much of a choice.
A_Traveller is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:20 PM
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tiverton-I grew up in Eliot, Dh in Kittery, I suspect you are very near there!
The restaurant owner on Jost told us he does not grill the spineys because he feels it will dry them out, but i do forget how he said he prepares them.
We were also invited to lunch at a beach bar on Jost for a lobster lunch, ones he caught himself(more on that in the rest of my TR)
soggydollar is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 01:29 PM
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Maine lobster is definitely sweeter in taste, and a bit more tender.

I do love my claws in the northeast!!
ScottB is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 01:59 PM
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Caribbean lobsters are smaller and not as tasty in the 4-5 times we have had them over the years. You basically get a tail, about 1/2 of a lb. at the most vs. on a Maine lobster of 1 3/4 lbs. you would get a 3/4 lb. tail plus claws for those that like the different texture of meat in them.
The exception is at Anegada you get a 2 lb. loster with 3/4 lb. tail broiled for $30 and quite tasty.
StanKase is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 02:27 PM
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I know Caribbean lobsters to be typically lartger that Maine lobsters. Those restaurants in the BVIs that serve the smaller ones don't let them grow. They are also known to serve female lobsters laden with eggs which is a no no!

RonUSVI is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 04:09 PM
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Dear Kitry/Eliot -- Like other posters have noted, try 'em -- at least you can say you did. They're nothing like the ones Ron gets in at Spinney Creek or Saunders or Nags Head or York Harbour
places -- we're spoiled for choice. Look for fresh spiny lobsters/have them SHOW you the goods before cooking. The largest ones are not necessarily the most tender. They're good tho in a seviche with lime juice if you can find
somebody who serves them that way.
Just don't spend a fortune...
tivertonhouse is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 04:25 PM
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i 1980--having lived many years in New England, i moved from massachusetts to maine. Exposed to Maine lobster most my adult life...

Maine lobster is a staple everywhere including Red Lobster chain gang.

The problem is---you cant compare cold water lobster to warm water lobster.

In 1998 i moved to Caribbean. I know.

Caribbean lobster is opposite of Maine lobster yet just as tasty---IF YOU GOT A LOCAL THAT KNOWS HOW TO COOK IT.

I disagre with anyone that Maine lobster is better than Caribbean non-claw lobster.

I challenge anyone to say that the grilled lobster at Anegeda Hotel in Anegada is better than Barnicle Billy's lobster in Oqunquit Maine.

Caribbean lobster when cooked in the right hands is equal.

I had grilled lobster at Ritz Carlton St Thomas and Joe's BBQ St. John and Cane Bay Reef in St. Croix and Myette's in BVI Tortola and its fantastic!!!

I go to Maine/Mass monthly and have my clawed 2 pound lobster steamed..

But It's not superior....although cheaper.

Next time in Caribbean...ask a chef to take a Caribbean lobster and take out the tail meat raw----slice it half inch thick...and gently press thin...and saute in butter and cruzan rum flabee..

you are in Caribeban heaven..

Go to Maine...head to Pemequid Lobster pound or any other spot...and get a steamed maine lobster...

you are in Maine heaven..

marbleheadguy is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 04:45 PM
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I'm partial to Spiny Lobster. Back in the 60's, Hog Island (Now known as Paradise Island) had only one hotel on it and no cement; just palm and Caribbean pine forests. We ate plenty of Spiny Lobster we caught with the locals offshore, boiled them on the beach with driftwood fires, then gobbled them down without butter. They tasted naturally sweet. Funny, but the Red Lobster TV commercials have a line of lobsters in a single line. Quess what? Those are Spiny Lobsters, not the Maine Lobsters they actually serve. Is this the dumming down of America or what? Robert59
Robert59 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 05:18 PM
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Given a choice, I prefer Maine lobster for the flavor. But not much beats having a nice Caribbean lobster while I am on the islands. I really agree, it has to be someone who knows how to cook it. I have had some tough rather chewy ones! Probably the best lobster I have had in the Caribbean was at The Coal Pot on St Lucia. They cut it into large chunks and serve it on the shell with your choice of sauce. No work involved and delicious. Not that I won't "work" for lobster.
brenandg is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 03:29 PM
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I've eaten tons of Maine and Bahamain Spiny's a toss up for me. Of course, the Bahamians know how to make everything delicious. The best meal I ever ate was Spiny Lobster and Bahamian Mac&Cheese on Abaco. Maine lobsters have meat in their large claws, but Spiny Lobsters have most of the good meat in their tails. The cook prepared one and a half lobster tails per person. There were 3 of us, so the lady prepared 5 tails (rounded it off). He put in 1 Lime, 1 Stick of butter, then split the tails lengthwise, removed the vein and grilled them over a charcoal fire. The tails are laid on the grill shell up and cooked about 10 minutes. Spiny Lobster turn turn bright red when ready, and the tail meat is so tender that it happens quickly. It was great with melted butter. Plenty sweet!! Bahamian Mac and Cheese is to die for. Yeah, I know what you're thinking, but I enjoyed M&C as much as the lobster...on Abaco anyway. They cooked it in the charcoal grill and began it before the lobster because it took longer (obviously). The lady put in 12 oz. of cooked elbow macaroni..cold. Then she put in finely chopped onion, green pepper, a tin of evaporated milk, and chopped celery (all FINELY chopped). A bit of crushed red pepper flakes, 6 oz. of shredded mild cheddar cheese, 1 beaten egg, then salt and pepper to taste. She mixed it all up in a large pan, then added the cold macaroni with half the cheese. Then stirred it all up then added seasoning and stirred again and spooned into the greased pan and into the charcoal die for with the Spiny Lobster!!!! Robert59
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