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Books

New Lobster Fact Book sets the ‘Wright’ Tone

Written by  Earl Brechlin Wednesday, January 02, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Like tourists on a five-day bus tour homing in on the scent of drawn butter, even Mainers can’t get enough lobster – facts that is. So Down East Book’s recent release of “The Maine Lobster Book,” is sure to satisfy many hungry readers.

Virginia Wright, a senior writer at Down East Magazine, previously has tackled other quintessential Maine subjects including profiling the Wiscasset landmark takeout in “Red’s Eats: World’s Best Lobster Shack,” and “The Wild Blueberry Cookbook.”

Anyone who has been asked by visitors when crabs mature into full-grown lobsters (they don’t of course and the fact I feel the need to make this disclaimer is, itself, a little alarming) knows it’s helpful to have factual information at hand when it comes to Maine’s premier crustacean. Ms. Wright’s book covers the entire world of lobsters from ocean bottom to dinner plate. The life cycle of lobsters is covered as well as fishing methods, lore and statistics.

Signature ports are profiled, the how or why some lobsters are blue or orange is included, and the lobster flavored confection at Ben and Bill’s Chocolate Emporium in Bar Harbor also gets a mention.

Her interviews with lobstermen, scientists, and others help paint a comprehensive picture of the region’s signature seafood. Essays by others help vary the pace and keep “The Maine Lobster Book,” from descending into the droning monotone of a textbook.

Of course, the only thing folks like better than learning about lobsters is enjoying them for dinner. Just for good measure, Ms. Wright throws in 20 delicious and easy-to-follow recipes, many of them very imaginative, although, honestly, she probably had most of us at “bring the water in a large pot to a boil. Melt butter.”

The one nitpick here is that in the recipe for boiled lobster Ms. Wright suggests “one per person.” But, with the way lobster prices have been lately, why not shoot for two?

One thing is certain, however, if you’re only going to have one field guide to lobster handy, “The Maine Lobster Book,” is the one to own.

For more Living Stories, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.


Earl Brechlin

Earl Brechlin

Islander editor Earl Brechlin first discovered Mount Desert Island 35 years ago – and never left. The author of seven guide and casual history books, he is a Registered Maine Guide and has served as president of the Maine and New England Press Associations. He and his wife live in Bar Harbor.

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