Winter Lobsters are for Tourists, Right?

I’m always amazed at seeing folks ordering $25 lobsters during the winter season.

But I suppose it’s just the way all things have moved. After all, you could go to the market right now and find plump, red strawberries in February.

Nothing’s seasonal anymore.

In times past, certain things triggered other things.

My family would never splurge for lobster until the Tiger Lilies in my grandmother’s front garden bloomed – like some time in late June or early July. That was because – I was told later in life – that the shells were just right at that time and not too thick.

Now I’ve hauled in my share of pots, and I’ve done it by hand – so perhaps I know a few more things about lobster than a fella from Indiana looking to slurp down his first crustacean.

Like most other living things, lobsters go through a cycle throughout the year. And in the cold months, they pack on an extra hard shell to deal with the cold-water temperatures.

We do the same things with coats.

So the deal is, when you get a winter lobster, you’re needing a jackhammer to break through that thick shell, and once inside, you’re not getting the same quality of meat.

So it is why the natives would bristle at ordering lobster off the menu in January.

For me, I tend to still associate Tiger Lilies with lobster, and the good old days of having an urban lobster bake on the stoop or back alley.

  • • •    •

Speaking of peculiar choices, I’m constantly amazed at the numbers of people who buy hot dogs at a convenience store.

What gives?

I can’t imagine anyone who would look at the hot dogs in those chain linked machines – rotating around and around for days – and decide that’s what they want to eat.

I saw a guy in the Back Bay the other day at a convenience store taking out one of those crusty dogs and lathering catsup on it. He seemed normal enough, so I had to say something.

“Are those things worth eating?” I asked him with a full on grimace.

“I don’t know,” he said.

Then silence.


“I guess I’ve never had one before,” he said. “I won it on a gift card.”

He shrugged, took a bite and walked off.

Hey, who am I to question?

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