So sorry if I annoy you with my continued use of the word “lobstah”. That’s how I pronounce it in my head now. Lobstah, chowdah, pahk the cah at Hahvahd Yahd. I kid you not. I am quickly slipping into a New England, and most likely Bostonian, accent. So come along with me and read this post with your best Bahston accent.
We said our goodbyes to Bahston. I think I’m going to miss that area; it really is the cradle of our nation. And people were nice too. While we were there we tried to be as Bostonian as we could. We had Sam Adams Boston Lager. We ate New England Clam Chowdah. We ate Boston Cream Pie. We tried to find Boston Baked Beans, but that delicacy wasn’t on the menus. So either the beans have gone out of style or they weren’t that good. We’ll never know.
Today we headed up to Maine. Quick! What’s the first thing you think of when you think of Maine? Lobstah right? That’s what I thought of because I’d never been to Maine and could only associate it with what I’ve heard about. For instance, I had no idea they call themselves Vacationland because who vacations in Maine…except the Bushes. And my friend Gretchen. Well, my friend Pepper lives there and one of my previous Sunday School teacher’s whole family is from there…but you get the idea. Right?
So, we’re going up to Maine because we’ve never been there before and it’s only an hour north of Boston. How could we not? Well, we actually passed up our chance five years ago when we were on our Fruity Pebble Tour (our fall foliage tour through New England. Look at the side of a mountain in full glory of changing leaves and tell me it doesn’t look like a bowl of Fruity Pebbles). We were in New Hampshire, ten minutes from the Maine border. It was our last day of the trip though and neither of us were wanting to take any amount of time away from the road to home. Not so this time. Seeing that we were going to be in the state where the lobstah was invented there’s no way we could leave without tasting some of this sea gold.
I don’t eat lobstah very much in real life. It’s too expensive and we all know I’m cheap frugal. If something on the menu has “market price” next to it you can guarantee that the market doesn’t include me. What’s the old saying? “If you have to ask then you can’t afford it?” I don’t even get shrimp very often and shrimp is like the poor man’s crustacean. I thought for sure that since we were going to be in the state that prides itself in all things lobstah that it would be cheaper. I got a lesson in economics today.
Lobstah is not cheapah in Maine. In fact, I’m pretty sure that they charged more for it because we were getting the privilege of eating it in Maine. The whole experience. Maybe it was the fact we were Kennebunkport and everyone who visits there obviously doesn’t have to ask what the market price of their main staple is.
The restaurant we ate at looked like one of those small marina restaurants that prides itself more in the taste of the food rather than the taste of the decor. Actually, I need to eat my words there. I found nothing wrong with the decor. The Bushes frequent Bartley’s when they are at their second home (or is it their third?) and there are pictures of them all over with various niceties written to Mrs. B (who makes a killer blueberry pie).
(that’s Bush 41 jumping on his 85th birthday)
We were in the mood for a light snack because it was in between lunch and dinner times. A friend recommended I try a lobstah roll so I searched the menu for that. $17.95. $17.95! 17 dollars and 95 cents. Swallowing all that might be Scottish in my ancestry (the Scots are known to be “mean”, or cheap) I decided to go ahead and try it. Other lobstah dishes were market price and we know that means it’s too much for me. Du ordered the clam chowdah and we ordered the girls french fries.
I had no idea what a lobstah roll was. In my mind was a sort of rouladen where the meat is rolled with other things (kinda like a jelly roll). What came was a lightly toasted piece of thick buttered toast with about a cup of lobster meat mixed with seasonings. I tell you it was delicious. But worth eighteen dollars? Not to me. Maybe it was the whole Kennebunkport experience we were being charged for. After all, if you could actually buy lobstah for cheapah in Maine then it would quit being a delicacy. And maybe people would quit paying market price for a bottom feeder.
Something interesting I just found out by searching on wikipedia: lobstah wasn’t a delicacy until recently. It used to be poor man’s food and even indentured servants were sick of having to eat it more than two or three times a week. People would bury lobstah shells instead of throwing them away so as not to be caught having to eat lobstah. Oh, the horror. Oh what a little positive propaganda and spin will do to turn something into a hot commodity.
Tonight we’re spending the night in Vermont. Do you think we’ll be able to get some pure Vermont maple syrup for cheaper than I can get it back at my local DC grocery store? I’m not holding my breath any longer.
PS. It wasn’t just the lobstah that was overpriced. Ashlyn’s chocolate milk, all 7 ounces of it, was $4.50. $4.50! Do they not have cows in Maine? Can they not import that milk at a price cheaper than the going rate of per ounce gold? I was more than a little incensed.
And PPS. There is more to Maine than lobstahs. It has a beautiful coastline of which we were only to able to take in a small bit. We visited Olgunquit before Kennebunkport and took a walk on the Marginal Walk. Breathtaking. This picture doesn’t do justice.