A Prince Edward Island vacation is not a vacation at all without succumbing to the succulence offered up by a maritime lobster feed unlike any you’re likely to find anywhere else.
Lobster is not so much a part of Prince Edward Island life as it is a fact of Prince Edward Island life and a visit to the gentle island without a lobster feast would be like a visit to the island without giving in to a round of golf. Or visiting the island and not walking along the miles and miles and miles of endless sandy beaches in shades of white, champagne, pink and of red. Or of visiting the island without taking in the many festivals that imbue it with its unique character, charm and of course, it’s culture.
There are two lobster fishing seasons on Prince Edward Island; one in the spring and the other occurring in the fall. Lobsters from the island are available year round, however, because they are kept in holding pens or pounds, (traditionally large, fenced areas of the ocean) or in more recent years, thanks to rapid the advancements made by technology, lobsters can be penned in huge dry-land holding facilities, in fact pioneered in Atlantic Canada. In the end, it means the lobster served to you is always as fresh as it is refreshing to the palate.
The American lobster or as it’s known by its scientific name, Homarus Americanus, can most often be found on the Atlantic coast where it is also known as the northern, Atlantic or Maine lobster. The colder waters of Canada are the more common lobster areas although they can be found as far south as North Carolina.
While a much vaunted delicacy today, in decades past, that hasn’t always been the case. In fact, the lobster was once considered very common and farmers of Prince Edward Island would often spread lobsters on their fields for fertilizer. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons Prince Edward Island potatoes have come to have the storied reputation and taste they do.
A live lobster is usually greenish-brown in appearance and color, although occasionally they have been known turn up in blue, partly white, yellow or bright red. These color variations are the result of a genetic defect in the lobster shell pigments and are very rare. In fact, for a blue lobster, the chances are one in a million. For a yellow lobster; one in 30 million.
The sight of a red lobster is considerably more common and can be found all over the island. This is, of course, due to the fact that it’s been cooked and served with butter. It is here, on the gentle island that the potato and lobster together are once again a familiar sight, preferably served piping hot in your newfound and favorite Prince Edward Island restaurant at the water’s edge or along the boardwalk.
This summer, savor the succulence of a Prince Edward Island lobster, and all the tradition that comes with it. Bon appetit!