Seafood and Lobster Facts
Be an Informed Consumer When Purchasing Lobster and Seafood
Inside the Bayley's retail store in Pine Point, Maine from where all of our Internet and phone orders are processed, packaged, and shipped.
It is important that you know and trust your seafood purveyor, so that you
may believe in the freshness and quality of your product and the reliability
of the staff whose job it is to send it to you. Many online companies that you
will find selling Maine lobsters are middle-men, taking orders and having other
ship out products that they never even see. Many are not even based in Maine,
some are just call centers, who sell their telephone services, then once again,
order the product from another facility and never see their product. This has
been a winning financial combination for a lot of people, but we at Bayley’s
Lobster Pound believe that when you order Maine lobsters, you expect old-fashioned
New England pride to go into each of these packages, and it does here. When you
call us you are calling directly into our lobster pound in Pine Point, Maine.
Your order is packed here and UPS picks up at the door every afternoon. All of
our prepared products are hand-made right here as well.
Lobsters and other seafood are brought in daily, and if you ever want to come
see us and how we do our work you are welcome to visit. We have a retail area
where you can choose you own lobsters and have us cook them while you wait. While
your lobsters cook, try a Bayley’s Lobster Roll. Bayley’s Lobster Pound is the
originator of this delicacy.
- What is the difference between a hard-shell lobster and a soft-shell lobster?
- In the summer, generally July and August, lobsters shed their shells so that
they can grow. Once the lobsters have shed their old shells, there are new, soft
shells underneath. These shells will harden over the course of time and as the
water gets colder. Since the lobsters shed their shells in order to have room
for growth the following year, there is less meat inside a soft-shell lobster
than there is in a hard-shell lobster of the same size. This also accounts for
their lower prices. Even though there is less meat in soft-shells than in hard-shells,
many people prefer the taste of the soft-shells. They are considered sweeter
and more tender than the hard-shells.
- What does the color of the bands on the claws mean?
- The color of the bands means nothing. Fishermen buy many different colored
bands and use them as necessary. They do not use bands to mark different sizes.
- How many lobsters does it take to make a pound of lobster meat?
- It depends on the type and size of the lobsters used. Generally, it takes
either 5 to 6 pounds of soft-shell lobsters or 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 pounds of hard-shell
lobsters to make a pound of lobster meat.
- How does Bayley's cook their lobsters?
- Our lobsters are boiled in ocean water in stainless steel boilers that you
are able to see inside our retail area.
- Is there a season for lobster?
- Legally, lobster fishermen in Maine may fish year round. However, most fishermen
either do not fish in the winter, or they fish for other products such as shrimp
and sea clams. Lobsters are least expensive in the summer when there are many
people fishing and soft-shell lobsters are available.
- How big do lobsters grow and how long does it take for them to grow?
- The largest lobsters that we know of or have seen have weighed 35 to 40 pounds.
It takes lobsters an average of 5 to 7 years (depending on the water temperature)
to grow to legal size, and they grow more slowly as they get larger. Therefore
a lobster that weighs 3 pounds is an estimated 15-20 years old, and a 25 pound
lobster would be approximately 75-100 years old.
- Do lobsters feel pain?
- Lobsters do not feel pain as we do. They have no cerebral cortex, which is
the area of our brains that gives us the sensation of pain. Lobsters also have
no vocal cords, the hissing sound that you sometimes hear when they are cooked
is the sound of air escaping from their shells.
- How long has Bayley's Lobster Pound been in business?
- Bayley's Lobster Pound has been doing business in the same location and run
by the same family for over 90 years. It is now owned and operated by third and
fourth generation family members Bill and Susan Bayley.
- Is Bayley's Lobster Pound related to other Bayley's businesses in Pine Point
- No, Bayley's Lobster Pound exists in one location only. Owners of other
Bayley businesses are family relations but the businesses are unrelated.
- How many pounds of lobsters does Bayley's Lobster Pound sell per day?
- Bayley's Lobster Pound has a large wholesale as well as retail business and
on an average summer day will sell 2,500 pounds of lobsters.
- Why are lobster shells different colors?
- Lobsters have different pigments in their shells just like people have different
pigments in their skin, and come in a variety of colors. We have had fishermen
bring in blue lobsters, yellow lobsters, red lobsters (that were alive) and spotted
lobsters. Usually, when lobsters are hard-shelled, their shells are a darker
color. Also, when you cook hard-shell lobsters, their shells will turn a brick
red color and sometimes even black, whereas soft-shelled lobsters, when cooked,
are a bright red color.
- What is the green stuff on the inside of the lobsters?
- It is known in Maine as tomale (or tomalley) and it is the liver of the lobster.
It is used as a dip, or in stuffings or stews for extra flavor. Many people consider
it a delicacy. You will sometimes find a waxy red substance in the tomale, this
is the roe (also known as coral) and it is edible as well.
- How can one keep lobsters alive while traveling or at home?
- You can keep lobsters alive by putting them in the refrigerator or packing
them in a cooler with ice packs to keep them cold. DO NOT put them in water unless
it is re-circulating, refrigerated salt water - lobsters will die very quickly
when placed in water. Also DO NOT pack them on freshwater ice unless you are
able to keep the lobsters from coming into direct contact with the melt water.
- How long can I keep lobsters alive?
- This can vary from half an hour to 24 hours depending on a variety of factors:
the type of lobsters (soft-shell or hard-shell), the time of the season, the
temperature of the water at that time of year and your method of packing. Please
ask an employee regarding your particular situation.
- Does Bayley's Lobster Pound ship lobsters?
- Absolutely, Bayley's Lobster Pound ships lobsters year round all over the
United States via UPS Overnight service.
- Does Bayley's Lobster Pound have a fleet of fishing boats?
- No, Bayley's Lobster Pound buys lobsters from independent fishermen who bring
their catch in daily.