Being that we are celebrating Canadas Birthday today, I felt it would be suitable to talk about a dish that is on our list of credits. Not exclusively ours, but we have our version. I'm also including a recipe at the end for a truely Canadian variation from my old stomping ground of Glengarry County, The Lancaster Perch Roll.
A lobster roll is a dish native to New England. It is made of lobster meat served on a grilled hot dog-style bun. The filling may also contain butter, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, with variants made in some parts of New England replacing the butter with mayonnaise. Other versions may contain diced celery or scallion. Potato chips or french fries are the typical sides.
Shellfish is generally composed of 75-80% water, 15-20% protein, 2-5% fat, 1-2% minerals. The meat of crustaceans including lobster, shrimp, and crab is white fleshed, with connective tissue that has more collagen and is therefore not as tender as fish. Mollusks, including abalone have a muscular foot that helps them move around, while clams and oysters have an adductor muscle to open and close their shells. Squid and octopus are mollusks turned inside out that have tough-collagen rich muscles.
Crustaceans including lobster, shrimp, and crab have exoskeletons with hard outer shells protecting their bodies. They have segmented bodies that protect their muscles and organs giving them structural support, and periodically shed their shells through molting as they grow larger. Mollusks have hard shells that protect them from predators composed of a chalky material called calcium carbonate.
Crustaceans include lobster, shrimp, crab, and fresh-water varieties including crawfish. Shrimp and lobster meat is most abundant in the tail with the exception of the American lobster which has large claws and a fair amount of meat. Crabs have a shorter body and because they don’t move around much the muscles in their tentacles and claws make up most of the edible meat. Soft shell crabs are molting crabs and are prepared and consumed whole. Unless held live, crustaceans will deteriorate quickly because the mid-gut glands, liver and intestines, will break down and turn the muscles into mush. Most crabs are pre-cooked because of this rapid deterioration, while lobster and shrimp tails are commonly separated and frozen in their raw state. Crustaceans are a dark green-to-blue color that blends in with their environment, but when cooked turn a bright orange or red color from carotenoid pigments caused by the plankton in their diet.
Lobsters are crawling crustaceans that live on the ocean floor. They are divided into several species for commercial purposes. The American lobster, found along the eastern seaboard of the United States and Canada, is notable for its claws. It takes 6-7 years for a lobster to reach edible size of 1-2 Lb. /450-900 g. Spiny or Rock Lobsters are found in warmer waters including the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Australia, Asia, and South Africa. They have large tails and long spiny antenna but lack the large claws of the American Lobster. In Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa they are known as crayfish. Langoustine, sometimes called Dublin Bay Prawns, Norway Lobster, or Scampi, are found in the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean and North Sea as far north as Iceland and northern Norway, and south to Portugal and also in parts of the Mediterranean Sea. They can grow to 7–8 in. /18–20 cm.
Cheers, and have a Happy Canada Day!!