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New England Culinary Glossary
 

  Our New England glossary was written to give a better understanding to some of the unique culinary language and fresh local ingredients of New England. The emphasis here is on fresh seafood and Maine lobster. You will find the terms for the most popular seafood found in New England’s waters. For example—what in the world is scrod? You will learn more about Homarus americanus, the "Maine" or "American" lobster. We have listed definitions for all of the lobsters “parts” and listed the some of the other species of lobsters. You will also learn some of important lobster and lobstering terms. For instance, when is a lobster called a chicken?

Terminology can vary widely depending on what region of the coast you are in. You’ll find there is a difference in chowder made in Maine, chowder made in Massachusetts or Rhode Island Red Chowder that dares to use tomato.

You can find the origins behind New England’s provincial foods. Did you know that a Boston cream pie is actually a cake? Have you ever enjoyed a Whoopie Pie? Finally, just for fun we added some slang and local regionalism like the proper usage of stuffies (i.e., stuffed clams, or stuffed quahogs, depending on where you are).

If you have any questions, or would like to add to this growing glossary, please do so at feedback@lobsteranywhere.com.
 

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Abdomen: Often referred to as the tail, it is the second segmented section of a lobster.

American Lobster
: American Lobster: Homarus americanus. Sometimes referred to as the Maine lobster. The American lobsters are found off the Atlantic coast of the U.S. and Canada. Of the 30 or so types of clawed lobsters worldwide, the American lobster most closely resembles its European cousin. Both species have an enlarged pair of pincers, while the pincers of the Norway lobster are longer and thinner.

Albacore Tuna
: The most highly prized tuna and the only one that can be labeled white. Albacore are found in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Albacore tunas range from 24-36 inches in length and weigh 20-40 pounds. They can probably live to 10 years, maturing around five. Albacore are dark blue on top, with a lighter underbelly. Albacore cannot be filleted like other fish because of its unusual bone structure and the soft consistency of its meat; this means fresh or frozen albacore is available only as loins/steaks.

Anadama bread
: a yeast-raised bread made of white flour and cornmeal and molasses

Awful Awful
: A thick ice-cream shake (short for "awful big, awful good") from a Rhode Island chain called Newport Creamery.  The Newport Creamery began in 1928 as a wholesale milk business in Newport, RI.


 
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Banding: The process of placing a large elastic band around the lobster's claws so it can be held without danger and to preserve its quality.

Bay scallops: About ½ inch in diameter and gathered in large bays from Long Island to Nova Scotia. A Bay scallop is smaller, sweeter and a bit more succulent that their deep sea counterparts. The bay scallop is much less plentiful, but greatly desired by scallop fanciers. The bay scallop shell is similar to that of the sea scallop except that it is smaller, more grooved, and the edges are more serrated or scalloped.

Berried female: Also called a spawning female, this is a lobster that is carrying eggs beneath her tail.

Berries: Lobster eggs.

Bisque : A thick rich cream soup usually made with of pureed seafood and cream.

Black Tiger shrimp : The variety most commonly found in supermarkets is Black Tiger (Penaeus monodon), a farmed shrimp (most shrimp are farmed, but some are still caught wild) from Asia. Introduced to the U.S. market about 1980, black tigers have grown phenomenally in popularity due to their comparatively lower price. Raised primarily in Asian countries, they are called black tiger shrimp due to their distinctive black-and-gray striped shells when raw. When cooked, the shell of a black tiger turns bright red and the meat white with deep red skin tones. Black tigers have higher moisture content than white, pink, or brown shrimp. As a result, they shrink more when cooked, and the flavor is very mild. Additionally, their texture is considered less dense than their relatives. Some raw tigers are a blue shade with yellow feelers and are referred to as “blue tigers.“ They are the same species as the black tiger, but their feed does not contain the iron that causes the darker color.

Blue lobster- Blue lobsters are caused by a genetic defect. Rather than containing the pigments that combine to make a green-brown color, the shell contains only a blue pigment. Genetic defects also cause other strange colorings such as light orange, and patterns such as yellow spots. The blue lobster is very, very rare. Marine scientists believe a genetic condition causes the blue pigmentation, seen in only about one in 2,000,000 lobsters.

Blue Crab - Its latin name, Calinectes sapidus, means "beautiful swimmer," and is named after its blue claws and dark blue-green shell, this crab is found along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. Blue crabs are most notably associated with the Chesapeake Bay. It is sold in both its soft and hard-shell stages. The "soft-shell crab" is simply a blue crab caught just after molting. They range in size from 3-1/2 inches up to 5-1/2 inches or more on the market. These crabs do turn the traditional reddish color when cooked. Blue crabs play a critical ecological role in estuaries.

Blue fin Tuna : The Blue fin Tuna is one of the largest of the tunas. It is sold fresh or frozen. Quality fish are especially favored in Japan, where they can fetch a high price in the raw seafood market. A single fish can sell for $45,000 USD. Blue fin tuna are usually found in warmer and more moderate areas of the ocean such as the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Atlantic sea from the European coast north to Norway, the North Sea and from time to time in some areas of the Baltic Sea. On the eastern coast of America, the blue fin tuna has been spotted in areas that are as far north as Newfoundland. The species in the greatest danger of slipping into extinction is the western north Atlantic population (stock) of Blue fin tuna due to four decades of over fishing,

Boston clam chowder : n. Soup. See New England Clam Chowder. A milk cream base, flavored with salt pork, fill of diced potatoes and thicken with flour. Usually made with chopped hard-shell clams.

Boston cream pie : Technically it’s a cake invented at Boston’s Parker House. A sponge cake split, filled with vanilla custard, and topped with a fudge glaze.

Bouillabaisse: Bouillabaisse is a French seafood stew made of fish, shellfish, onions, tomatoes, white wine, olive oil, garlic, saffron and herbs. It is traditionally associated with the Province region of France, especially Marseilles. The New England version uses seafood that is readily available on the East Coast, including mussels, little neck clams, and haddock.

Bug: Slang for lobster.

Buoy: (pronounced bü-ē) a rounded cork shaped object that is usually made of Styrofoam that can float. Buoys are tied with rope to traps to mark where they are in the water. Each fisherman has a particular color scheme for their buoys so that they can distinguish whose is whose. These buoys are attached to a wiretrap by a long rope. These traps can weigh upwards of 50lbs. when full of lobster.

Brine - salt water

Brown shrimp : Uncooked brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus) have reddish brown shells, and their meat has a stronger flavor than white or pink shrimp because of higher iodine content. The cooked meat turns pale pink. The Brown shrimp meat is tougher than white shrimp. The Brown shrimp meat is tougher than white shrimp. As a result, brown shrimp are generally less expensive than the other two varieties.

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Cabinet : In Rhode Island if you want what most Americans call a milkshake, with ice cream mixed in, you must order a cabinet. The term's precise origins are unclear, but the most commonly accepted explanation involves early milkshake blenders, which were shipped in heavy wooden cabinets.

Canners - Canners are smaller lobsters weighing 175 to 450 kg (approximately ½ to 1lb) caught only in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada. At one time, all of these lobsters went into a cannery. Since the water is warmer in this area, lobsters mature at a smaller size. It is legal to catch small lobsters only in this region.

Cape Bay Scallops . These highly prized scallops are gathered from November to April. Some of the best come from the waters around Nantucket.

Carapace - The hard shell covering the body of a lobster with claws, knuckles and tail removed, measured from behind the eye socket to the rear of the main shell to ensure it is of legal size. It houses the walking legs, tomalley and, in female lobsters, the roe.

Cherrystone Clams : A small hard shell clam that is larger than a littleneck clam Cherrystone clams can be eaten raw or cooked. These are named for Cherrystone Creek, Virginia. Cherrystone clans are also great for soups, sauces and stuffing's.

Chicken : These are small lobsters popular in New England, ranging in weight from one to two pounds. The name allegedly refers to their tenderness.

Chowder: (chou’der, n. [Fr. Chaudiere, pot], a milk based soup consisting of fresh fish, clams, etc., stewed with vegetables, often with a milk base.

Calico Scallops: Slightly larger than Bay Scallops. Produced off Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico.

Clams : This term refers to a variety of bivalve, or two shelled mollusks. The two main types of East Coast clams are heard-shell and soft shell. Hard-shell clams include littleneck, cherrystone, and chowder clams. The soft-shelled clams or steamers have thin brittle shells that can't completely close. Clams lend themselves to many cooking methods, but are especially good steamed in their own juices.

Clambake: A true sign of the end of summer is the clambake. A clambake involves steaming clams, mussels, lobsters, corn and potatoes in seaweed under hot rocks all day. First used by New England’s Native Americans. An authentic clambake begins with a deep pit in which a fire has burned down to coals. On top of these coals, layer seaweed still full of the sea. Between seaweed layers, put clams, lobsters, corn on the cob, even fish. The food is steamed by the moisture in the kelp, so the meal is saturated with brisk air and Black Ocean. Of course, a deep pot can accomplish a pale but flavorful imitation.

Clam cakes: Clam cakes aren't cakes at all; they're clam fritters deep-fried the size of golf balls made up of chopped clam and flour. Although some renditions are a bit light in the clam department, well-executed clam cakes are a treat. Sometimes clam cakes are overloaded with grease and so nicknamed 'sinkers' since they sink to the bottom of your stomach.

Clams Casino : Clams casino are raw clams, sprinkled with crunchy minced vegetables, then topped with bacon, are finished under the broiler so that the bacon crisps & the clams are just barely cooked.

Clam chowder: The name "chowder" originated from the French "chaudiere," meaning kettle or cauldron. Chowder can include the hearty stews made by combining clams, fish, or seafood with potatoes, onions, milk, and seasonings. New England clam chowder is a staple with its creamy, potato base. New England-style clam chowder is often served in sourdough bread bowls. There are three other New England clam chowder varieties: Manhattan clam chowder, made with a tomato base and the Rhode Island clam chowder version, made from a clear broth with clams in it.

Clam fritters: See clam cakes

Clarified Butter: Butter is an emulsion of milk solids, milk fat and water. When butter is heated, this emulsion breaks and the parts separate. When the temperature reaches 212F, or the boiling point of the water, the water begins to evaporate. The foam that rises to the top is comprised of the protein solids and salts. The foam is skimmed off and what is left is the milk fat. If the foam were left on, it would start to brown and would eventually burn after becoming buerre noisette, or brown butter, and then buerre noir, or black butter. Clarified butter is often used for sautéing because it does not sizzle and pop like whole butter, nor does it burn at a higher temperature. Many chefs also use clarified butter in hollandaise sauce and its derivatives, because the resulting sauce is more stable and holds its emulsification through a longer range of temperatures.

Cephalothorax - A lobster's head and thorax are fused. This term defines the area including the head and thorax.

Cod - A popular lean, firm, white meat fish from the Pacific and the North Atlantic. " Scrod" is the name for young cod (and haddock) that weight less that 2.5 pounds. "Haddock," "Hake," and "Pollock" are close relatives of the cod. Cod is often battered and deep fried, but is also excellent in chowders and fish cakes. A popular fish for fish and chips restaurants, fish portion sandwiches and as filets. An adult cod can reach a length of 6 feet. For this reason, cod is usually sold as steaks or fillets.

Cock: A male lobster.

Coffee milk : Coffee syrup with mixed with milk.  The classic beverage at most other Rhode Island restaurants (Rhode Island is among the national leaders in coffee ice cream consumption, and supermarkets offer a locally produced coffee gelatin dessert mix.) It's actually the official state drink, having been so designated by the Legislature in 1993.  

Coldwater shrimp : Tiny crustaceans, that inhabit the northern Atlantic (Pandalus borealis) and northern Pacific (Pandalus jordoni). They are very small in comparison with warm water species and do not have to be deveined before eating. Most come to the U.S. market cooked and peeled and range in size from 150 to 500 shrimp per pound. Coldwater shrimp have numerous names: bay shrimp, tiny shrimp, baby shrimp, pink shrimp, cooked & peeled, salad shrimp, coldwater shrimp. Coldwater shrimp are wild-harvested from the northern waters of Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and the U.S. coasts of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Maine. They have bright, reddish-pink shells, both raw and cooked. The meat is white with skin tones that range in color from pale pink to a rich, reddish-pink. Coldwater shrimp have a sweet taste and soft texture. A small quantity of coldwater shrimp is available fresh, shell-on, and headless, often from Maine or Oregon. They are available in the local market during the harvest periods.

Connecticut : Also know as the Constitution State, CT, Nutmeg State - a New England state; one of the original 13 colonies.

Coolie: Slang term for the lobsterman's helper or sternman.

Coral: The red stuff that you sometimes see inside a lobster are immature, unfertilized eggs. Although red after cooking, before they are cooked, they are black in color. The eggs are also called spawn, roe or coral. They are OK to eat and like caviar are considered a delicacy by many people. A fertile adult female lobster produce about 10,000 eggs, all about the size of a pinhead. Only 1% of those eggs will make it into adulthood.

Coral: this is the roe or egg sac found only in the female lobster. They are deep red when raw and coral pink in color when cooked. Coral is considered a delicacy and are often added to sauces.

Crab - Any of a large variety of 10-legged crustaceans (shelled animals). There are freshwater and salt-water varieties. It is the second most popular shellfish. (Shrimp is the most popular.)

Crown Pilot : A big rectangular, unsalted cracker. Discontinued in 1996 and brought back after a fierce write-in campaign from Maine. Currently only distributed in New England These large crackers are terrific with Clam Chowder.

Crusher claw: The larger and heavier of the two claws of a Maine lobster used to crush food. A lobster can easily snap a pencil or even a finger once in the grasp of the crusher. Lobsters can be either right or left-handed. Some lobsters have the crushing claw on the right while others have it on the left.

Crustacean : Crustaceans are the aquatic analogs of insects, both being members of the phylum Arthropoda. Found in both fresh and salt water, crustaceans are invertebrates and characteristically have a segmented body and exoskeleton, with limbs that are paired and jointed. This group includes shrimp, crayfish, lobster, and crabs.

Cull: A lobster missing one or both claws. A lobster can drop a claw as a defense mechanism and grow another over a period of years. Molting gives the lobster a chance to grown new body parts, like legs or claws that might have been lost . It takes three or four molts for a lobster to regenerate a claw to full size. Culls are less expensive than a full lobster and are used when presentation is not a factor.

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Deck-hand: Also 'aftman' or 'sternman'. A busy person responsible for emptying, baiting, stacking, and dropping traps as well as just about everything else that needs to get done except hauling traps and piloting the boat.

Diver scallops : The biggest of New England's cold water scallops (8-10 pieces per pound.) These large scallops are c aught by hand by divers and are better quality scallops. The majority of the scallops on the market are harvested by boats that drag heavy chain sweeps across the ocean floor. The diver scallops are less gritty than the dragged ones. Diver scallops are also a much more ecologically friendly way of harvesting scallops.

Double: Two lobster traps on a single buoy.

Doughboys :  Another type of fritter popular in the Ocean State (RI). Doughboys are hunks of deep-friend pizza dough, usually rolled in granulated sugar, probably originated with Rhode Island's Italian population. They are also found at many of the seafood shacks that serve clam cakes and stuffies.

Dueces : 2 pound Maine lobsters.

Drawn butter: Drawn butter is different from clarified butter in that instead of being pure milk fat, which is clarified butter, drawn butter is a hot emulsion of the whey proteins and milk fat, like a beurre monte. The emulsion is stabilized by the liason of flour.

Dungeness Crab : Latin name Cancer magister, the crab is found to the west coast of North America, and reportedly take their name from a small fishing community on the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington State. With important landings in nearly every fishing port north of Santa Barbara, the Dungeness crab is the main commercial crab species south of Alaska. Adults are reddish-brown in color and their legs are short and thick relative to their body. Their large, white-tipped claws are of equal size. Law requires the crab to be at least 6-1/4 inches long to be harvested, and only males can be taken. Prime season is in the winter months. The pink flesh is succulent and sweet.

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Egger:
A berried female.

Eighth : A lobster weighing 1-1/8 pounds.

European Lobster : (Homarus gammarus) A lobster of Atlantic coast of Europe, taken mainly off Turkey, the British Isles, France, Italy, Norway, and Portugal.

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Fannie Daddles
: A term once used on Cape Cod for New England fried clams.

Female Lobster : Female lobsters carry eggs underneath their tail. Any
female lobster caught carrying eggs has to be thrown back. The female lobster will drop the eggs once they have matured. A female lobster mates primarily when she is in the soft-shell state right after she has shed her shell (molted).

Fiddleheads: New England wild greens.

Frappe - A milkshake or malted elsewhere, it's basically ice cream, milk and chocolate syrup blended together. The 'e' is silent. Despite the chocolate syrup, it actually comes in many flavors. Cabinet is a word used primarily in Rhode Island.

Freshwater shrimp : Freshwater shrimp are a separate species that may be characterized by bright blue shells or, if they come from Asia, rich yellow with brown striped shells. Less than 1 % of fresh water shrimp come from U.S waters. One of the largest shrimp, they have long claws, can grow over a foot long, and can weigh over a pound. Freshwater shrimp are both wild-caught and farm-raised. When cooked, they have a very mild taste and soft, gray-white flesh and a very soft texture. Whole freshwater shrimp are seen as a specialty item and often sold live for display in restaurant tanks.

Fried Clams : Fried clams are made with whole-body soft-shell clams, dipped in a light batter, and deep friend in hot fat to a crisp finish. Often served in a grilled hot dog roll.

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Gaff
- a long, straight, wooden pole with a hook on the end that is used to catch buoys.

Gazpacho: an uncooked soup made of a pureed mixture of fresh tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, onions, celery, cucumber, bread crumbs, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and sometimes lemon juice which is served cold; also served chunky-style. You may also see this spelled "gaspacho."

Grinder : In New England a long sandwich is known as a grinder. Everywhere else they serve subs and hoagies.

Gulf shrimp : Shrimp caught wild off the coast of Texas, one the sole source for the US market.

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Haddock -
A North Atlantic fish, the smaller cousin to the cod. The haddock has firm white, flaky flesh that is mild in flavor. Smoked haddock is called "finnan." A relative to the cod-most people can tell no difference in fillets or portions from either. Also see Scrod.

Halibut: Large flatfish of the species Hippoglossus hippoglossus and Hippoglossus stenolepis. It is usually sold in steaks or fillets, and is available year round. The flesh is firm, and has good flavor. Pan-frying, poaching, and baking are the preferred cooking methods for halibut.

Hard Shell Lobsters: A lobster whose shell has fully hardened after molting. Hard shell lobsters are found in the deep colder waters of the North Atlantic. They can be identified by looking at the underside of the claws of a live animal. Black mottling indicates that the animal has a hard shell and has not molted yet. Once cooked, you'll need nutcrackers to get the shell off. Hard-shelled lobsters yield 50-60 % more meat than soft-shelled or shedders. These lobsters have a harder shell and are stronger with higher meat content. Hard shell lobsters are available year round however in the summer and autumn months the warmer waters of the North Atlantic affect the overall supply and price.

Hard-Shell Clams : Names by its size, the bay or creek it originally grow in, or how it is most often prepared.

Hasty pudding : Originally a British dish, this pudding could be made on very short notice. Ingredients vary, but it is basically cornmeal mush served with sweetening (maple syrup or brown sugar).

Hen : The name for a female lobster.

Homarus Americanus: The American Lobster is also known as the Massachusetts lobster, the Maine lobster, the Canadian lobster or the North Atlantic lobster.

Horseshoe Crab : Latin name Limulus polyphemus, this crab is named for its resemblance in shape to a horseshoe. It is considered a living fossil, tracing its roots back some 500 million years. It is found along the Atlantic coast from Nova Scotia to the Yucatan and along Asian coasts from Japan and the Philippines to India. And yes, they are indeed edible, although the ratio of meat to shell is small.

 

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Indian Pudding
: Much like steamed brown bread, Indian pudding begins with corn meal and molasses, to which are added milk, butter, and spices. The whole is baked until it becomes a rich, brown pudding.
 

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Jello-lobster : See rubber lobster.

Jimmies: These are the sprinkles that top ice cream.

Johnnycakes: The unleavened cornmeal pancakes served at breakfast haunts. The name's origin is a matter of some dispute as is its spelling: Johnny-cake, johnnycake, Johnnycake and Johnny Cake are frequent variants. The name may have been derived from the term joniken, an Indian word for corn. The recipe is simple: cornmeal and water. The batter is fried in a skillet and topped with butter, syrup or honey. Most Rhode Islanders insist that a johnnycake isn't authentic unless it's made from whitecap flint corn grown and ground into meal in Rhode Island, preferably with millstones made of Rhode Island granite. The near-universal brand of choice is Kenyon's, produced by a local mill that dates back to 1886 and whose little blue boxes of meal are staples in Rhode Island groceries.

Jonah Crab : The Jonah crab (Cancer borealis) is found the eastern coast of the United The Jonah Crab is quite similar to the Rock Crab (Cancer irroratus) but it is normally found in deeper water.  Occasionally, the Jonah Crab wanders into shallow water and can be found by Scuba divers. The Jonah crab has rough shaped teeth along the side of its shell while the rock crab has smooth shaped teeth.  In addition to the teeth, the Jonah crab appears to be more heavily armored than the Rock Crab and can grow to a larger size. The Jonah Crab contains delicate and delicious meat used to make crab cakes, seafood stuffings, dips, and delicious chowders

Jumbos : Lobsters usually weighing more than 3 pounds.

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King Crab: A giant crab that can grow up to 10 feet, claw-to-claw. It has snowy white meat edged in red. Because their numbers are rapidly decreasing, the catch is rigidly quota-controlled.

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Langouste
- The French name for the spiny lobster, differentiating from Maine lobsters in that they have no claws. Langoustes are warm water crustaceans that can be found in the south Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and off the coasts of South America, Australia and the West Indies.

Legal lobster : A legal lobster (in Maine) is a lobster that has a carapace between 3 1/4 and 5 inches long as measured from behind the eye and straight back to where the thorax ends and the tail begins. It is illegal in Maine to take, transport, sell or possess any egg-bearing lobster. The first law making possession of egg-bearing lobsters illegal was in 1872. By 1889, a law prohibiting possession of egg-bearing females was permanently established. A legal lobster also has a flipper to the right of the center flipper, showing no V-notch, nicks, grooves, or indentations of any kind along its edge.

Little neck clams : Little necks are the youngest and smallest hard shell clams, less than 2 inches across. Serve these small, tender clams raw on the half shell. Also great seasoned and whole baked, or delicious in a clam sauce or favorite pasta sauce.

Live-tank : A sea water-filled tank on a lobster boat used to store live lobsters.

Lobster - There are three species of true Lobster: The American (or as we call it, the "Maine" lobster), the European lobster and the Norway lobster. The American lobsters
are found off the Atlantic coast of the U.S. and Canada. Of the 30 or so types of clawed lobsters worldwide, the American lobster most closely resembles its European cousin. Both species have an enlarged pair of pincers, while the pincers of the Norway
lobster are longer and thinner. Lobsters grow by molting and may live for 15 years or more.

Lobster blood: Lobster blood is the white stuff that comes up when a lobster is cooked.
It coagulates under the action of the heat.

Lobster bisque: A classic light cream based soup made from Maine lobsters with a delicate balance of fine sherry wine and cream

Lobster pounds: Lobsters are kept on a readily supply for all seasons in lobster pounds.

Lobster roll : lobster salad on a hot dog roll.

Lobster shack : New England and particularly Maine is awash with these roadside restaurants that specialize in freshly cooked lobsters with very little embellishment.

Lobster Tail : There are two kinds of lobster tails: warm water and coldwater, depending on where they’re harvested. The Caribbean and Latin America are the main sources for warm water tails in the U.S.; Australia, South Africa and New Zealand are the main suppliers of coldwater tails. The difference in quality is reflected in the price: coldwater tails can cost double or triple the price of warm water tails. The meat is whiter, more tender (lobster grow much slower in colder water affecting the texture of the meat) and, because of superior processing, cleaner. The item marketed as "lobster tail" usually is a spiny lobster. It has no pinching claws. The spiny lobster is found throughout the Caribbean, off the southern coast of Africa, and in Australian waters.  Its shell varies in color from deep blue to pink and white, depending on diet and water temperature.

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Maine
: Also known as ME, Pine Tree State - a state in New England

Maine Clam Chowder . This clam chowder features a milky broth. Chowder is not thickened with flour. Made with steamer clams, and toped with little pools of melted butter.

Maine clam chowder : Maine folks prefer chowder made with soft-shell clams, cubed potatoes and milk (with a little cream for a thicker base), topped with little pools of melted butter and served with crackers crumbled into the bowl. Maine clam chowder is not normally thickened with flour. In Massachusetts, hard-shell clams called quahogs are used along with milk and flour for thickening. See New England clam chowder.

Maine Crab : Also called the “picked-toe” crab or “peektoes.” In Massachusetts the picked toe crab is call the Jonah crab. Often sold by lobsterman since they are caught in the same traps meant for lobsters. See P eekytoe Crab

Maine lobster (l˘ob´ster) n. Marine Crustacean. This crustacean was used as bait until around 1880. Lobsters are found from Eastern Canada down to North Carolina. The bulk of the U.S. lobsters come from Maine, where size limits are enforced. The carapace must be 3 1/4 in. and 5 in., respectively. Lobsters are typically greenish-brown in color with black spots but can differ in color depending on where they reside. They have 5 pairs of legs, the first pair modified into claws, one enlarged and thickened for crushing and the other fine for shredding and cutting up food. Most New Englanders cook their lobsters by dunking them in boiling water or preferably by tossing them on beds of seaweed and saltwater to steam over an open fire on a beach. Another method to try is oven-roasting, which draws out the flavor and keeps the lobster from becoming too soggy. Heat the oven while placing the lobster in a freezer for 10 minutes to numb it. Slice the lobster with a very sharp chef's knife, beginning from where the shell makes a "T" through the head (which kills it). Slice the shell on the underbelly from the body to the tail. Open the shell, without breaking it, and remove the ugly bits (intestine, stomach, tomalley). Stick a wooden skewer through the meat to prevent it from curling while cooking. To learn more about Maine lobster, be sure to visit our Lobster 101 section.

Maine Shrimp : Also call Northern Pink Shrimp. Tiny, popcorn sized shrimp from Maine. The best harvest time is in February.

Manhattan Clam Chowder - Tomatoes make Manhattan clam chowder different from its creamy New England cousin. Manhattan clam chowder has tomato in the soup for color and flavor.

Marshmallow Fluff : A New England favorite since 1917, this fluffy white marshmallow cream invented by the Durkee-Mower of Lynn, Massachusetts. It an ideal ingredient to make Never Fail Fudge, Fluffernutters, frostings, cheesecakes, cookies.

Massachusetts (MA): A state in New England; one of the original 13 colonies; also known as the Bay State, Old Colony.

Mussel (m˘us´el) n. Bivalve Mollusk. Once thought of as a nuisance in Cape Cod clamming beds and then used as subsistence food during the World Wars, mussels today are commercially available almost everywhere and are widely prepared by gourmet chefs. Most commonly consumed in the U.S. are blue, California and Mediterranean mussels though New Zealand green shell mussels are imported for use in various shellfish dishes. Mussels along with clams, oysters and scallops belong to the class of mollusks called bivalves, all of which are characterized by a hinged shell. Mussels are filter feeders, filtering about 10-15 gallons of water a day to extract plankton, bacteria and organic material. Mussels are usually steamed until they are open. Serve with a glass of crisp white wine.

Metal gauge - a device used to measure the carapace of a lobster. It is placed at the eye socket and measures down the middle. If the carapace of the lobster does not fit between the jaws of the device then the lobster is not of legal size.

Molt - when a lobster sheds its shell so that it can grow larger.

Mollusk : Animals of the phylum Mollusca characterized by soft invertebrate bodies, and typically covered by a hard outer shell. They are divided into three categories univalves (abalone, conch, and snails), bivalves (clams, oysters, and mussels), and cephalopods (squid and octopus).

Moxie : A dark biter sweet soda first bottled in Lisbon, ME Made since 1884 and still a popular Maine drink. This soda was once believed to have medicinal properties. Moxie is a slang word meaning vigor and pep.

Mussel - A bivalve mollusk with worldwide distribution. There are salt and freshwater varieties. The blue mussel is by far the most common mussel in American waters. It is abundant in New England and California where they grown in the wild and are also cultivated. The thin shell means there is more meat compared to the same weight of clams or oysters. The yellow meat has a sweet and delicate flavor. Prince Edward Island mussels (Island Blues) are grown on ropes in Canada and have shiny black shells outside and sweet, tender meats inside. Farm raised mussels are easier to clean, while wild mussels have a more briny flavor. Make sure most of your mussels are closed, and tap on open clams; live ones will close.

   
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