Maine lobster vs Canadian Lobster

Joined Jun 20, 2011
Though both of em are the same species , yet the maine lobster is considered superior by many . Is there a reason for this ? Also in kitchen nightmares season 2 gordon ramsay says there is a huge difference....... Im a bit confused. Please help me out ! 
Joined Apr 3, 2010
I do not use Canadian . However on price quotes they come in at less cost. My fish monger tells me they are a bit tougher or stringier.. I have used Canadian Type Stone Crabs, in our  off season and they are not bad., A lot smaller then the Florida type but tasty and cheaper .
Joined May 29, 2013
Anyone who tells you there is a difference between Maine and Canadian lobster without understanding that all lobster go through different stages in their life process (molting, shedding, regrowth, etc.) and that Main lobster fisherman for the most part fish out of the waters at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy (in Canada) doesn't know what they are talking about. Maine has done a great job in marketing their product, because people who should be informed, like Ramsay, buy in to ridiculously flawed logic. The Maine product, however is the exact same as New Brunswick lobster that comes from the Bay of Fundy. Now, one could say that there was a difference in perhaps the lobster that comes from the Northumberland Straight in Prince Edward Island area....but again, that would be like someone saying that the fish that is caught in Florida is totally different than the same fish that is caught in the Bahamas. Fish do not understand borders and water temperatures do not fluctuate enough within a small geographic region to create separate 'sub-species' of taste and quality. If Ramsay's assertion were in any way valid, then between the lobster caught off Casco Bay in southern Maine and the lobster caught off Machias Bay in northern Maine, one would be a noticeably better product....which is asinine. 
Joined Dec 18, 2010
I remember him saying that too.  I doubt that he could really tell the difference between the two unless he saw their passports first.  Ibn at least one case, I think his point was more related to false advertizing than anything else... telling folks it is "Maine lobster" when it really was "Canadian lobster". I'm not sure if he is totally convinced that "Maine lobster" is a generic term for American Atlantic lobster.  He sometimes seems to have a distinctively outsider's impression of certain American/ethnic issues, but often states his impressions as absolute fact.  No matter, I highly respect him for his culinary and business abilities.
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Joined May 5, 2010
For real guys?

I purchase Canadian lobster tails from my Sysco rep.

I also purchase whole live lobsters from Maine through Sysco as well

The tails are 10-12 ounce. The wholes are 1 1/2#

The Canadian shells are larger than those of the Maine variety.

They are also redder in color.

I fully realize that lobsters travel and shed their shells as they grow.

But I don't understand the comments above after using and seeing the difference between the 2 for over 20 years.

Perhaps the Canadian lobster fishermen go further up the coast or into the North Atlantic to get this variety.
Joined Oct 21, 2014
I am a licensed Chef in Canada from  Nova Scotia . There is a big difference in lobster from here to the lobster from the West Coast (warm water versus cold water) I find the lobster from Pacific( warmer water) stringy as opposed to the firm meat of the cold (Atlantic) water . I do not know where your lobster comes from off season but it cannot always be "Fresh Maine Lobster' there is a short season for lobster .
Joined Jul 13, 2012
I have cooked and eaten both for years and have not noticed any definitive difference.  I think the shedding season is earlier than up in the Maritimes.  If you had both side by side say in June, or July there might be a difference, but only because of the timing - hard shell vs soft shell.  This is just my observation after decades of lobster lovin'.  That and I used to know some lobster fishermen. 
Joined Jul 28, 2001

I don't eat lobster on a regular basis but I have had both growing up on the East coast and always thought the same as you. Then one day at the local monger they sous vided the two for a demo. There was an absolute difference.


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
I really can't weigh in on the Canadian vs. Maine Lobster debate, but there is a definite difference between cold water lobster and warm water lobster (most of which are sold as tails only).  I'm not a big fan of lobster tails, most are tough, stringy and not very flavorful, but give a whole lobster (cold water) and I'm in heaven.

Last time we were out on the East Coast (5 years ago?) we got a deal on lobsters at $7.95 each for 1 1/4-1 1/2 pounders.  I ate 2, and that's after a bunch of clams that we steamed off first!!!!
Joined Jan 1, 2016
About the only difference between "Maine" lobster and "Atlantic Canada" lobster, is that most of the latter is sold to the US and marketed as "Maine" lobster! Fact! For many years. Maine was never able to meet the US demand, nor should they be expected to.
Joined Jan 1, 2016
With all due respect, there is no such thing as a Canadian "Stone Crab" , never was, but perhaps with Global Warming, some day.
Joined Feb 8, 2009
I don't know the answer but I plan on being on the Atlantic coast eating Canadian and Maine lobster this coming summer. The Canadian lobster, at a 40% discount because of our strong American dollar will be a nice treat. I'll make sure to get back in June when I had my fill of Lobster rolls and whole lobster. 
Joined Sep 28, 2008
For me, the difference is local. I'll use the "Canadian" lobster because I can see where it's caught by the tags in the seafood delivery. As to whether they are better or not, I only sell lobster during its season so I couldn't tell you. Plus, I like 1 1/2 lb chickens, so maybe that's the difference.

All due respect to Ramsey, sometimes he hams it up for TV, and consequently is full of shit at times.
Joined Jul 13, 2012
I can't tell the difference and I've eaten plenty of both.  It's the same breed of lobster and it's not like the maritimes are that much further north of Maine.
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
The difference between Maine lobster and Canadian lobster is the country of origin of the boat that catches them. As an example, both countries catch and market lobster from the the Bay of Fundy.
Joined Jul 29, 2016
While I have always been able to discern between Maine and Canadian lobster, the episode of Kitchen Nightmares and this thread actually made me question my discerning abilities.  Since the argument seems to be unsolvable between those of us in the kitchen, I decided to use a "lifeline" and call a friend. I have a very good friend who is a marine biologist, so I invited he and his wife to my place for dinner on me and a discussion afterwards.  First, THE answer....YES, there IS a difference between Maine and Canadian lobster, and it boils (no pun intended) down to the environments.  Some of the comments on this thread make mention of the similarity of the Maine and Canadian waters, there is, however, very little temperature differences.....but the difference is in things like water current.  To explain, my friend used a simple comparison between the lobster and people.  There is a major difference in people who work out and those who do not, and so it is with every living thing on earth.  Because the currents of the Canadian waters are much more active, the marine life is much more active...and in lobster, like people, they become more "muscular" so to speak...and like any other animal, more muscular means the meat is more developed....therefore more tough and stringy.  Another major difference is in their intake...the food they eat, and we all hear "you are what you eat" and this is true.  The food sources are different in the Maine waters than in Canadian waters...and I wouldn't think that needs explanation.  SO, while many replies say they're the same, you may want to consult your local marine biologist!
Joined Apr 25, 2014
Meh.  LOL and did I say meh...

What your marine biologist friend should tell you is that lobsters obviously molt in the summer.  Is the temperature in canadian waters a little colder and behind temperature wise just like their weather is?  Probably 

You likely had the difference between winter and summer lobster more than anything

Strong currents?  Hundreds of feet down?  I call shenanigans

No temperature difference huh?

Between Massachusetts and Northern maine is 20F difference.  Between Maine and Canada yes it is even colder.  It is a BIG difference in water temp 
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