leave the lobster roll, take the fried clams
(does anyone else wish they were cannoli?)
(photo source: yelp)
(photo source: yelp)
Where is this rant coming from? Recently different groups have been cracking down on seafood fraud - the mislabeling of food as higher quality products. For example, an Oceana study found that 43% of salmon sold in restaurants and grocery stores from places like New York and Chicago were mislabeled, and the most common wrongful ID was calling farmed salmon "wild-caught". That's a HUGE no-no for this wild-caught Alaskan salmon-loving gal!
Where lobster rolls come in is that another study by Inside Edition showed that many restaurants selling lobster rolls, lobster ravioli, and other heavily-processed lobster dishes are actually serving cheap lobster substitutes like "langostino" (aka squat lobsters, which you may know are more closely related to crabs than true lobsters). Less egregious but equally shady is serving actual lobster cut with other things like whiting, a common name for several white-meat fish like pollock or hake.
In the investigation, one third of the tested "lobster" meat was mislabelled! And the thing is, most people probably couldn't tell because their "lobster" was smothered in mayo! So I don't feel too bad for people who were bamboozled, but I think it's wrong nonetheless. An interesting point that was raised during this investigation is that one restaurateur said they did nothing wrong with mixing fish in to their lobster roll: (A) some people just use a frozen pre-mixed melange of seafood, of which lobster makes up an unknown percentage, for their lobster rolls, and (B) mixing lobster with things like surimi (that fake crab meat made from ground up pollock) and selling it as "lobster salad" should just imply to you, the costumer, that you're getting more than what you're paying for (and by "more" I mean "less"). And I'm not really knocking surimi - I like California rolls as much as the next person, and I was an observer in a fish processing plant that made surimi, so I've seen it from start to finish!
Mmmm, I can still smell the ground pollock from here!
Anyway, do yourself a favor: next time you want lobster, just order the whole thing with a side of garlic butter, put on a bib, and enjoy pure crustaceany goodness!
this is how you do it! (shananana-na-nana)
(photo from Honestly Yum)